Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Kamil Abu Rokon has been directed by the government to allow 500 Palestinian workers to enter Israel from Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.
This step is significant in the progress of the settlement between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza. It is one of a series of measures taken by Israel in recent weeks towards the Strip.
The new orders include allowing fertilizers, car tires, gas, and various commodities into Gaza, which was considered a taboo in Israel ever since the doors to Gaza got locked 13 years ago.
The Israeli government is expected to later allow workers from the Strip to enter its territories on condition of maintaining calm in the Strip first.
This issue was postponed due to a dispute between the Israeli army and the Shin Bet.
The Shin Bet domestic security service opposes the idea of allowing more Gazans into Israeli territory, fearing that some of those granted entry for work will either operate on behalf of Hamas or turn into lone-wolf terrorists, or go on sporadic killing sprees while inside Israel.
The Shin Bet is also concerned Hamas will use this opportunity to make contact with terror groups located in the West Bank, groups that are thirsty for money and guidance from the Hamas leadership.
The army, for its part, supports this step, which allows Gazan workers who prove having a clear security record to enter Israeli territories and work in the agriculture and construction sectors.
In exchange for their work, the army said these workers will receive salaries amounting to no less than $2000 per month. The money will enter the Strip and allow Gazans to improve the economic conditions of their families in particular, and the Strip residents in general.
It referred to the West Bank, to where Israel contributes to pumping huge amounts of money, whether by allowing West Bankers to enter Israel or allowing Israeli Arabs to trade with Palestinians there.
This has led to an improvement in the economic situation there and the restoration of calm and security, the army stated.
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