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Israel to include Gaza Americans in US visa waiver trial

After agreeing to facilitate the passage of American-Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel has agreed to similar conditions for those residing in Gaza.
GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli authorities intend to ease travel for American-Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip as part of the country’s preparations to join the United States' visa waiver program, Reuters reported on Monday. 

As of mid-September, American-Palestinians will be able to enter Israel from Gaza on a three-month tourist visa and fly out of the country via Ben-Gurion International Airport. 

On July 19, Israel received authorization to go ahead with a pilot program for loosening travel restrictions on American-Palestinians living in Palestinian territories or visiting family members in Palestinian territories. A reciprocity agreement signed by Israeli Ambassador to Washington Mike Herzog and outgoing US Ambassador in Jerusalem Tom Nides will allow any American citizen to enter Israel via its airports, including Americans residing in both the West Bank and Gaza. 

If Washington deems that Israel is complying with the condition of allowing all Americans to travel in and out of Israel equally, the path will be cleared for Israel to join the visa waiver program. Israelis will be allowed to travel to the United States without requesting a visa ahead of time. 

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