Israel Reopens Gaza Crossing for Workers, Traders on Tuesday

Israel's army barred Palestinian workers from Gaza entry to Israel via the Erez crossing for two days, following a series of rocket launches from the Strip

Yaniv Kubovich
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The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel.
The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Yaniv Kubovich

Israel has reopened its border with the Gaza Strip to allow the entry of workers and traders into Israel following a slight easing of the security situation.

The border was closed on Sunday after several rockets were fired by Palestinian militants in the strip.

The Israeli authorities stressed late on Monday that the reopening of the crossing remained contingent on the security situation. Normally, some 12,000 Palestinians cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip every day for work.

The reopening of the Erez crossing to workers and merchants, alongside other "civilian measures," is contingent on "the continued maintenance of security stability in the region," the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said.

A senior security official told Haaretz over the weekend that the Israeli army supports reopening the border crossing as soon as possible, and claims that the crossing of workers into Israel acts as a stabilizer for the Gaza Strip.

According to the source, this week will be crucial in relation to the security situation. Hamas will attempt to garner what it considers achievements in the last week of Ramadan, the source said, including riots and clashes on the Temple Mount and West Bank, and the situation in the Strip and Gaza border communities will be greatly affected by this.

Although all of the intelligence assessments denote that Hamas is uninterested in escalating the conflict in the Strip, the Israel Defense Forces is preparing for this to occur, and will increase its manpower in aerial defense and intelligence.

On Sunday, Gantz said that Israel would keep its border crossing with Gaza shut for a second day, preventing Gazan workers and traders from entering the country.

The move on Sunday alone stopped around 12,000 Gazan workers from entering Israel.

Israel's initial decision to close the crossing came in response to two rocket launches from Gaza into Israel over the weekend, in a bid to generate internal pressure on Hamas.

The rocket fire came amid near-daily clashes at the flashpoint Temple Mount in Jerusalem over the past week, with Palestinians hurling stones and fireworks and Israeli police entering the compound and firing rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

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