Israel reopens Gaza crossings after two weeks of closure
September 28, 2023 / 4:38 PM
Palestinian workers gather at the Erez crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Israel reopened crossing points with Gaza on Thursday, allowing thousands of Palestinian workers to get to their jobs in Israel and the West Bank, after nearly two weeks of closure prompted by violent protests along the border.
Around 18,000 Gazans have permits from Israeli authorities to work outside the blockaded enclave, providing an injection of cash amounting to some $2 million a day to the impoverished territory's economy.
The move comes amid stepped-up international efforts by Egypt and the United Nations to defuse tensions and prevent a new round of armed conflict in the enclave.
Cogat, the Israeli Defence Ministry agency that coordinates with the Palestinians, said security assessments would determine whether the border remained open.
In an apparent sign of easing tensions, the so-called "Revolutionary Youths" group, which has organised the protests in past weeks, said in a statement it was suspending the demonstrations after securing promises from mediators that Israel would stop provocative measures in Jerusalem and in prisons and ease up the Gaza blockades.
Israel blocks many goods from entering Gaza with Egyptian backing, citing security concerns, and also reserves the right to restrict exports.
According to IMF figures, per capita income in Gaza is only a quarter of that of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The World Bank says unemployment is nearly 50%.