Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the freeze of additional Israeli work permits for Palestinians on Saturday, following a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip into Israel overnight.
Last Tuesday, Gantz approved an increase of the number of Gazans allowed into Israel for work or commerce by 1,500 to a total of 15,500 ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit as a confidence-building measure with the Palestinian Authority.
- Gantz meets Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah ahead of Biden visit
- Stop the Illegal Trade in Palestinian Work Permits
- Israel's Permits for Gaza Workers: More About Security Than Benevolence
On late Friday night, however, four rockets were fired from the enclave toward Israel, and Israeli fighter jets attacked several Hamas warehouses, including underground rocket production facilities, in response. This came not long after U.S. President Joe Biden departed Israel for Saudi Arabia.
One rocket was intercepted by Israeli air defense systems while three fell into open areas. Red alert sirens were heard in the city of Ashkelon and in the Lachish region. No injuries were reported.
Israel's coordinator of government activities in the territories, meanwhile, approved several other measures announced by Gantz ahead of Biden's visit. These include allowing 5,500 Palestinians with no legal status to be added to the Palestinian population registry, on top of the 12,000 previously approved, and the opening of a new crossing in the northern West Bank to allow for Arabs in Israel to reach the Palestinian city of Jenin more easily.