Israel quietly lets in Gaza workers in bid to ease tensions

Palestinian electricity company workers inspect power installations in Rafah at the southern Gaza Strip in this June 25, 2019 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2019

Israel quietly lets in Gaza workers in bid to ease tensions

  • Move part of understandings with Hamas aimed at preventing a fourth war in the blockaded territory
  • Gaza Strip unemployment rate is over 50 percent

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Israel is quietly allowing thousands of Palestinians to enter from the Gaza Strip to work, apparently as part of understandings with the ruling Hamas militant group aimed at preventing a fourth war in the blockaded territory.
Israel effectively revoked thousands of work permits when it joined Egypt in imposing a crippling blockade on Gaza after Hamas seized power in the coastal strip from rival Palestinian forces in 2007.
The blockade, along with three wars between Hamas and Israel, has devastated the economy in Gaza, where unemployment is over 50 percent.
But in recent months, Israel has quietly provided some relief as part of an unofficial, Egyptian-brokered truce with Hamas, in exchange for reduced rocket fire from the territory and the scaling back of weekly protests along the border.


Israeli jets strike Hamas targets in Gaza: military

Updated 47 min 48 sec ago

Israeli jets strike Hamas targets in Gaza: military

  • Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on Hamas facilities in Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip after a “rocket” was fired from the Hamas-controlled enclave toward the Jewish state, its military said Monday.
Israel said Sunday night a “projectile” fired from Gaza had been intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
It was the first to be fired from the Palestinian coastal enclave since the first week of July, and set off sirens, the Israeli army said.
In response, “our fighter jets and & aircraft just struck subterranean Hamas terror facilities in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the regional council of Shaar Hanegev, the area where the sirens sounded, said the projectile launched from Gaza had not caused any damage or casualties.
Israel and Islamist movement Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
Despite a truce in recent months, they have periodically exchanged fire, with militants in the strip lobbing rockets into Israel and the Jewish state responding with strikes against targets inside Gaza.