Additionally, the cabinet agreed to "launder" the presence in the West Bank of some 5,000 Palestinians who hold American or European passports but returned to the West Bank after the Oslo Accords were signed. Because they had lost their residency permits due to long absence, they entered on tourist visas, but for years, these visas were automatically renewed. Recently, however, the Interior Ministry has refused to renew them, resulting in many being "trapped" in Jordan, cut off from their jobs and families.
This development has elicited sharp protests from the U.S. and the European Union, and the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Major General Yosef Mishlav, therefore recommended giving them residency permits on a humanitarian basis. Peretz approved this idea and forwarded it to the diplomatic-security cabinet, which ratified it