From the Washington Post.
For decades, Palestinian foreign nationals have entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip on three-month tourist visas, renewing them regularly, because residency cards were difficult to obtain. But in recent months Israel's Interior Ministry has refused in many cases to grant new visas, separating thousands of family members from their relatives inside lands the Jewish state occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
The tightening has coincided with the rise this year of Hamas, a radical Islamic movement, to head the Palestinian government, which most foreign donors have cut off from economic aid. Palestinian officials and Israeli human rights groups contend the shift will undermine private investment in the territories -- investment the Bush administration is seeking to encourage -- while potentially driving out the professional class most likely to have relatives abroad.
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