Gas canisters fall among Palestinians during a demonstration near the border of Gaza City, on March 30, 2019
The Israeli government announced easing the restrictions imposed on Gaza Strip, within the framework of its understandings with Hamas. Meanwhile, the Israeli army is preparing for an intensive drill of a wide-scale military campaign.
Over the recent months, the Israeli cabinet had relaxed a minor part of their blockade over the strip. It allowed the transfer of $30 million Qatari funds, the entrance of fuel to increase electricity supply hours, and the expansion of the fishing zone in the Mediterranean.
Israeli authorities also agreed to remove items from the “blacklist” of goods banned from entering Gaza, expand the export basket, and increase the number of merchants allowed to enter Israel.
Sources revealed that among the 18 items are steel cables for large fishing boats; banned for fear that they would be used for underground tunnels, and fertilizer for agriculture that had previously been banned. In addition, the export of iron doors, aluminum housewares, wipes and toys were permitted.
Authorities lowered the age over which Gaza merchants would be permitted to enter Israel from 35 to 25, thus increasing the number of merchants authorized to enter Israel to 5,000.
Sources revealed that Israel is considering to allow the construction of a controlled industrial zone on the border with Gaza, funded by Qatar, which is predicted to employ up to 5000 workers.
The agreement was reached following an understanding between Qatar and Hamas on ensuring strict Israeli control of the industrial zone and materials manufactured.
The new employment for the Gaza residents will include fields of agriculture, textile, food and furniture; as long as security is maintained in the region.
The far right-forces of the government criticized PM Benjamin Netanyahu for easing the restrictions, to which he responded saying Israel’s policy is clear: “We want to return calm, but at the same time, we are preparing for a large-scale military operation, if necessary. These are my orders to the military”.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army unveiled this week drills conducted by soldiers and officers of the southern brigade to occupy several populated towns and neighborhoods. The command explained that the army was trained on occupying such neighborhoods with maintaining the least losses possible among Israelis.
The command admitted that a land invasion would be costly, but it will cost Palestinians much more, noting that the army will introduce into the battle modern and surprising weapons and warfare equipment.
(Source / 06.07.2019)