Weekly mass protests by Palestinians at the Gaza border are the result of the dire economic situation in the Strip caused by Hamas, and Israel is examining ways to prevent a humanitarian crisis there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday as he briefed Israeli reporters following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I raised the issue of Gaza and gave her a very brief description of how this crisis was created by Hamas’s investment in tunnels,” Netanyahu said. “What they built underground in Gaza is like six office towers ... a huge investment ... They’re suffocating economically, and therefore, they decided to crash into the fence.
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“Plain and simple, the outcome now is due to the economic suffocation – which Hamas caused,” he continued. “We’re examining various possibilities for preventing a humanitarian crisis there. Israel is the one doing the most, and perhaps the only one taking action on this issue. I spoke with Merkel about a plan to improve the [border] crossings.”
Israel is preparing for fresh protests Tuesday along the border with the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War. The army said it plans to continue its policy of shooting against anyone trying to reach the fence itself.