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Israel’s Defense Minister Touts Gaza Relief Ahead of London Visit

BICOM reports: Israel’s Defense Minister has said that if quiet from the Gaza Strip is maintained, he would be prepared to reintroduce Israeli work permits for Gazans for the first time since 2007.

Speaking yesterday to local council leaders in the Gaza border region, Avigdor Lieberman said that if there is quiet from Gaza, “I will not oppose renewing the practice of issuing permits to workers to enter Israel from the Strip”.

He added: “Israel is interested in reducing, as much as possible, the humanitarian pressure cooker in the Strip, but not at the price of security risks.”

In 2007, after Hamas violently seized power from the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel cancelled all work permits for Gaza Strip residents. YNet says that the local Israeli leaders who met with Lieberman yesterday, also support issuing entry permits for Gazans to work in industrial areas in their field.

Lieberman’s comments appeared to be an extension of a “carrot and stick” policy which he announced last month in relation to the West Bank. He said that restrictions would be imposed on those who endorse terror and reward given to those who reject it, with several specific development projects in the pipeline.

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