A Palestinian boy looks at the remains of a building that was destroyed in Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City May 5, 2019.
(photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)
A controlled industrial zone funded by Qatar is intended to be built on the Palestinian side by the now-closed Karni crossing, which is forecasted to employ up to 5000 workers, Walla News reported Thursday. The project was a central topic at the security cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu within the Gaza Division army base.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Military Intelligence Chief Tamir Heiman, as well as other high-ranking officers in the security forces.
The discussion turned to the various trends in the Gaza Strip regarding the factions, the mediation delegation from Egypt, and the UN, according to Walla! News. Large efforts are being made to promote calm in the area, according to sources in the defense establishment.
One security official said that although Hamas demands funds for its clerks and Israel refuses, there are other options of how to reach calm, all of which were being discussed at the cabinet meeting.
The planned industrial zone was a central issue discussed in the meeting. It is planned to be built over an old industrial zone, now abandoned after a series of attacks and the disengagement process led to its closure. The Karni crossing by which it is located was closed after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
The project examines the possibility that Israel will permit the entry of dual-use materials into the area, while the activity within the industrial zone will be under surveillance up to the products' exit through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The hope is that the project may allow some more money to flow into the Gaza Strip.
Israel is trying to allow international aide, such as that by Qatar, which is going to fund the industrial zone, into the Gaza Strip, according to a security official, so as to improve the humanitarian crisis in the are. Nevertheless the violence along the Gaza border will not be tolerated.
The initiative for the industrial zone is led by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun.
The Druze officer expressed his support for the creation of the industrial zone, emphasizing that he supports creating new sources of employment for the Gaza residents in the fields of agriculture, textile, food and furniture, as long as security is maintained in the region.
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