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More than 300 Palestinians showed up at an Israeli military base in the occupied West Bank recently, hoping they could win the lifting of security bans that prevent them from entering Israel.Security bans are the hidden centerpiece of a permit system that Palestinians consider the ultimate tool of control in Israel's half-century-old military occupation.The impact of the permit system reverberates in numerous ways, directly or indirectly affecting the lives of nearly all the 4.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Having a permit can determine where Palestinians work or study, whether they can visit relatives or afford to get married, even whom they marry. For the first two decades of Israeli rule, Palestinians could drive to jobs in Israel or trade between the West Bank and Gaza.Israel argues that Palestinians don't have an inherent right of entry to pre-1967 Israel and East Jerusalem, their traditional political, cultural and commercial hub, or to travel between the West Bank and Gaza.One of those rejected, 28-year-old Ibrahim Darie, said he had previously been asked by the Shin Bet to collaborate in exchange for a permit, but was not questioned this time.
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