Jerusalem24 – Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced yesterday a freeze on a promised increase in worker permits for Gazans.
Gantz had taken a decision a few days ago to increase the number of Gaza permits by 2,000, bringing the total number to 14,000. Gantz said this was justified by “the state of calm.”
Unemployment rates in Gaza hover over 50% and nearly 60% of the population lives in poverty.
When Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce erroneously announced in October 2021 that it was accepting applicants for work permits to Israel, tens of thousands tried to submit applications in a scene “reflecting the devastation of the Palestinian economy,” according to Mondoweiss. A photo capturing the scene (see featured image above) was widely shared on social media at the time.
According to Gantz’s office, the freeze in permits increase was decided in response to a rocket being launched from the Strip towards Ashkelon on Saturday morning. The Iron Dome System intercepted the rocket and no damages or injuries were reported.
The Israeli military responded to the rocket by destroying a watch tower belonging to the Hamas movement. Eyewitnesses and video documentation also showed the Israeli airforce bombing agricultural lands along the border fence.