Shin Bet Rejects Israeli Army’s Plan to Bring 5,000 Palestinian Workers Into Israel
Negotiations between the Israeli army and Hamas are still underway through Egyptian mediation to reach a truce.
Meanwhile, a dispute has emerged in Israel between the intelligence and the army, about the latter’s plan to allow the entry of 5,000 Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip to work in settlements around the sector, with the aim of easing economic distress there and reducing tension in the region.
Informed political sources said on Tuesday that the Shin Bet security service agreed in principle to the army’s plan, but believed that there should be other conditions for its implementation, such as a pledge by Hamas to abandon the war against Israel.
According to a figure close to the agency, the Shin Bet is fully confident that Hamas will exploit the entry of a large number of workers to push some of them to carry out operations against Israel.
The intelligence agency, therefore, demands a commitment from the movement not to do so, and to stop the return marches as a proof of goodwill. The Shin Bet also favors the entry of Palestinian workers into an industrial zone located on the border, and not to enter Israeli towns.
The army has drawn up a plan under the title, “Trying to restore calm for years to come”, which provides for the gradual entry of 20,000 Palestinian workers into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
An Israeli military official said in this regard: “Imagine we allow the entry of 5,000 workers… to work in Israel among the hundreds of thousands of Gazan workers. They will undergo a security check in the morning and the evening at the crossings. Each of them will receive at least 5,300 shekels (about $1500).
"This means that about 25 million shekels will monthly enter the Strip. This amount is a huge purchasing power that will seriously contribute to the recovery of the Gazan economy, greatly improve the daily life of the Gazans, and calm the arena in terms of security."