Information about the attack is still being pieced together, but we now know that some of the Hamas terrorists had been agricultural workers who received permits to enter Israel from Gaza. Others provided information to Hamas.
“What people don’t understand is that while Hamas was treated as a terrorist organization, there were decisions made by Israel to make life easier for Gazans,” said Thomas Nides, the former American ambassador to Israel, who left Jerusalem this summer. “They issued 15,000 work permits, for workers in Gaza who came into Israel each day, and I believe there was a view that Hamas would not screw that up.”
This was the doing of Israel’s previous leftist government before Netanyahu.
Making life easier for Gazans carried with it a very high price.
Israel is quietly allowing thousands of Palestinians to enter from the Gaza Strip to conduct business and work, apparently as part of understandings with Hamas that seek to prevent a war.
In recent months, Israel has quietly provided some relief as part of an unofficial, Egyptian-brokered truce with Hamas, in exchange for reduced rocket fire from the territory and the scaling back of weekly rioting along the border. It has allowed Qatar to deliver millions of dollars in cash to allow Hamas to pay its civil servants and has allowed the United Nations to step up aid efforts.
Now it appears Israel has expanded a program in which it had long provided hundreds of permits to business owners to travel to Israel and Judea and Samaria for commerce. Palestinian officials say it is now providing some 5,000 so-called merchant permits and awarding them to Palestinians working as laborers in construction, agriculture, and manufacturing.
That was in 2019. Last year the number went up to 14,000. Who made that decision? None other than Benny Gantz, who was now brought in to save the country.
Israel increased the quota of entry permits for Palestinian workers from Gaza by an additional 2,000, bringing the total number to 14,000.
The coordinator of government operations in the territories, Maj. Gen. Rassan Aliyan, announced the decision of Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday following an assessment of the security situation.
Permits will be issued for economic purposes, in accordance with the criteria, and subject to a security diagnosis.
Additionally, officials are continuing to implement Gantz’s decision to allow the employment of 20,000 workers from the Gaza Strip inside the State of Israel.
“All the civilian steps toward Gaza are dependent on continued security stability over time. Whether to expand them or not will be determined accordingly,” the military liaison to the Palestinians, known as COGAT, said in a statement.
Last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a discussion in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he had asked to increase the number of Gaza workers in Israel to 15,000.
About six months ago, the quota was 5,000. Since then, it has increased every few months by several thousand.
In late 2022, before Netanyahu took office, the number was increased to 17,000.
Defense Ministry decides to allow 17,000 Gazans to work in Israel in order to maintain stability in the region, in continuation of a policy that will see the number increase to 20,000
The Defense Ministry will be expanding the number of permits it issues to Gazans allowing them to work in Israel, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced on Thursday.
The decision will go into effect next week, the announcement said, following the High Holy Days.
In August, one military source said that Israel’s recent civil policy in the Strip gave Hamas incentive not to join the brief round of fighting between Islamic Jihad and Israel that month.
The decision to increase work permits, made before the fighting began and briefly put on hold during the conflict, has strengthened Gaza’s economy and put pressure on Hamas not to take actions that would lead Israel to take measures against the Palestinian population, said the military source.
According to the announcement, after assessing the security situation, Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided to issue an additional 1,500 work permits – bringing the total number of Gazans permitted to work in Israel to 17,000 – for labor and trade.
Netanyahu is being blamed for leaving the “door open”. Gantz and Bennett left the door open.
17,000 work permits, 1,300 dead and rising.
This is why you don’t “make life easier for Gazans”. Nor do you let 17,000 people from enemy territory into your country.