JERUSALEM, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Israel's socio-economic cabinet is set to approve on Sunday 5,000 extra work permits to West Bank Palestinian laborers to enter Israel in an attempt to help curb unrest over massive unemployment.
The move is what Israel says to be part of its efforts to help the Palestinian government calm rising economic-based protests which have erupted in recent weeks.
The Ynet news site reported on Sunday that Israeli and Palestinian officials fear the development of an "Arab Spring" in the Palestinian territories, and the loss of control over the street.
Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank took to the streets in recent weeks in demonstrations over the sharply rising cost of living, including hikes in prices of consumer good and food, and a rise of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 17 percent.
The Palestinian and Israeli governments have both declared a number of steps recently to battle the deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories.
Israel had authorized a similar number of work permits and entry to its territory for thousands of more Palestinian workers two months ago.
Two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered to transfer 63 million U.S. dollars of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
Under the terms of the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the PNA, imported duties levied by the PNA are collected and handed over by Israel, which controls nearly all access to the West Bank and Gaza.
Also, in a recent agreement between Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, they agreed that Israel would begin to collect custom duties and VAT on goods delivered to the West Bank via Israel.
The agreement also included a clause calling for construction of pipelines to deliver fuel from Israeli ports directly to Palestinian facilities.
The Palestinians, for their part, declared that the VAT would be lowered to 15 percent, less than a month after Israel raised it to 17 percent across the country.
Fayyad also announced a package of subsidies and tax cuts and said he would cancel other price hikes in fuel and cooking gas and lower the sales tax.