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Travel permits aim to manage, not solve, Palestine-Israel conflict

Palestinians were granted permits to travel to Israel for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, but larger issues remain.
A Palestinian family takes a selfie on a beach of the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan July 19, 2015. Thousands of Palestinians used permits given by the Israeli authorities allowing many to enjoy the beaches along Israel's Mediterranean shoreline during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. REUTERS/Baz Ratner      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1KXU4

When Saja Attaiya traveled on July 19 from the Palestinian village of Beit Sira, west of Ramallah, to the Mediterranean Sea, it only took her 30 minutes to get there. Previously, her attempts to visit Jaffa and Tel Aviv had been met with restrictions and checkpoints, as Israel has rarely given travel permits to Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Israel since 2000, especially to young Palestinians.

This year, travel restrictions were eased for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, thus allowing Attaiya, 21, and thousands of Palestinians to cross into Israel and spend time at the beach. Attaiya arrived at her destination at 1 p.m. and stayed on the Mediterranean coast for 12 hours with her fiance Mohammad Flaneh, her brother Taleb and her cousin Mohammad, both 16, as well as thousands of others who were given travel permits for the holiday.

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