Palestine Trade Tower > omarremawi11, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A number of Palestinian factories in the West Bank will be able to sell their products to European markets for the first time as part of a plan approved by Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, to strengthen and improve the economic standing of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories and Standards Institution granted the Palestinian factories permission to do trade internationally, in line with the Israeli Standards Mark.

Approval came after the factories went through comprehensive testing in order to comply with the Standards Institution of Israel.

Major-general Rassan Alian called the move “a very important step for strengthening the Palestinian and Israeli economies”, adding that “for the sake of stability in security, civil society and economy of the entire region, we worked with determination to win the Standards Mark for these Palestinian factories, so that they may significantly increase their income and contribute economically to the entire region”.

The move is the latest in a series by Israel’s new coalition government intended to boost the Palestinian Authority, the legitimacy of which has been shaken by a stalled peace process, corruption and increasing authoritarianism.

Last month, COGAT approved 9000 permits for Palestinians to work in Israel, as well as approving loans to the PA and building permits for Palestinians.