ISRAEL’S military has said that it will allow Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem into the besieged Gaza Strip to develop its economy.
Palestine’s Ma’an News reported yesterday that Israeli occupation authority Cogat had announced the new policy on Monday with immediate effect.
The Cogat statement said: “Businessmen and others who want to help improve economy, infrastructure and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip will be allowed to visit Gaza.”
No more than 150 people will be allowed into the coastal enclave at a time, subject to approva by Cogat’s Gaza office.
A Cogat spokesperson told Ma’an that the measure was intended to “encourage businesspeople to invest in Gaza.” The strip has been under Israeli military siege since December 2008, when the occupier launched a military offensive — ostensibly targeting the Hamas party — that killed over 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
A second onslaught in November 2012 left some 50 guerillas and 100 civilians dead. And 2014’s war killed 700 militants and 1,600 civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Hamas has ruled Gaza in opposition to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank since 2007, after power-sharing talks following Hamas’s 2006 election victory broke down.
But last week, the two rivals agreed to reunite in the face of the latest Israeli aggression against East Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.
That followed Egypt’s surprise decision to provide fuel for Gaza’s power station to break a blackout imposed by Israel, which began when the West Bank authority stopped paying Tel Aviv to supply Gaza with fuel amid a row over taxation.
On Monday, Jordan’s King Adbullah II, the custodian of al-Aqsa, made a rare visit to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian