High-ranking officers of the Israeli army have recommended easing restrictions on the Palestinians in Gaza. The recommendations include permitting thousands of residents of the area to travel abroad. Relaxing of the import restrictions of goods through the Kerem Shalom border crossing as well as granting Palestinians from the Gaza Strip work permits in the Israeli communities near the border are also being considered.
The relaxations are aimed at helping and supporting the Gaza residents to restore their infrastructure damaged in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge. “As long as the economic problems of Gaza remain unresolved, there remains potential for another bout of fighting, regardless of the level of deterrence we achieved in the previous conflict,” a senior officer told an Israeli newspaper.
In this context, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said that “the restoration of Gaza is in Israel’s interest. However, the only requirement for Gaza’s reconstruction is that attacks against Israel, or even planning of attacks, need to cease.”
However, there are vejement critical voices in IDF. Intelligence reports have detailed how Hamas is currently in progress to once again increase their arsenal of rockets and is digging an extended network of tunnels with which to infiltrate Israel. Officers have also warned of cooperation between Hamas and the Islamic State both in the Northern Sinai and Gaza.