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December 26, 2021 5:09 am

Israel Plans to Ease Restrictions on Gaza to Prompt Hamas to Keep Calm

avatar by i24 News

An aid convoy’s trucks loaded with supplies send by Long Live Egypt Fund are seen at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on May 23, 2021. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

i24 News – Israel is considering easing several restrictions in the Gaza Strip to alleviate the territory’s economic woes and to encourage the population to put pressure on Hamas to maintain calm, Haaretz reported Sunday, citing security sources.

Among the measures envisaged are increasing the number of work permits granted to Gazans in Israel and authorizing the entry of certain dual-use materials, in coordination with the United Nations, to ensure that they are used for civilian and non-terrorist purposes.

The plan would, however, run counter to statements by Israeli officials that reconstruction in Gaza must be made conditional on an agreement that would see Hamas release two civilians and the bodies of two Israeli army soldiers it is holding, possibly in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

Sources within the security apparatus say, however, that the economic deterioration of the Palestinian territory must be halted, regardless of other issues.

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Israel has already relaxed several restrictions, as calm has largely prevailed since the fighting last May, in which Palestinian terrorist groups launched thousands of rockets at Israeli towns. The Jewish state responded with strikes that devastated parts of the Gaza Strip.

Since then, Israel has granted work permits to some 10,000 workers, increased the number of goods transferred daily into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, allowed new and old vehicles to enter the territory, and extended the fishing zone offshore 16 nautical miles.

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