Israeli security warns of consequences of tightened siege on Gaza

Palestinians officials check packages at the Kerem Shalom border

In the wake of a sharp reduction in the number of commercial shipments being allowed to enter the Gaza Strip, Israeli security agencies have warned of the deteriorating security situation that might lead to a major offensive, reported on Sunday.

Official statistics show that just 350 truckloads of goods are allowed into Gaza daily, compared with 800 previously. The security agencies called on the politicians to refrain from reducing the amount of goods going into Gaza in order not to aggravate the economic and social crises which are hitting the besieged enclave.

Furthermore, according to Haaretz, an Israeli military source said that senior security officers have sent messages to the politicians warning them that undermining UNRWA would undermine the health situation and schools in the Gaza Strip. “The situation is deteriorating and it would push thousands to attempt to cross the border fence towards Israel and such a scenario could not be resolved except through an escalation [of violence].” said that the deterioration of the economic situation in Gaza has escalated since the Palestinian Authority introduced punitive measures against Gaza, in addition to the cutting of 30 per cent of PA employees in the territory. The measures were introduced even though the conditional dissolution of the Hamas administrative committee went ahead as agreed. The PA and Fatah, however, did not lift the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza, while Israel and Egypt tightened the blockade.

Read: Israel to reopen Gaza goods crossing

Palestinian economic expert Maher Al-Tabbaa attributed the reduction in the number of commercial shipments going into Gaza to the weak purchasing power of its residents. He explained that the reduction started at the beginning of this year, and suggested that the number of truckloads could fall to as low as 250 a day.

Al-Tabbaa also pointed out that the deteriorating economic situation in Gaza is in part due to the fact that the PA has not paid the salaries for Gaza employees recruited by Hamas when it was the elected government. Such payments were agreed upon in the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal reached in October last year.

(Source / 29.01.2018)

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