Israel will increase the number of Gazan workers allowed into sovereign Israeli territory, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on his visit the IDFs Gaza Division on Tuesday. The demand for work visas has grown exponentially in recent times.
Gantz toured the area together with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Commander of Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, Coordinator of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories Maj. Gen. Rassan Elian and Gaza Regional Devision commander Brigadier General Nimrod Aloni.
During the tour, the Minister of Defense received an overview of Erez and Karni crossings as well as a tour of the fence area, Gantz surveyed the area and made a situational assessment.
"Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, we have created a new deterrence reality, we are building regional forces and operational plans, we are doing so with special consideration to the civilian population - directly with the residents of Gaza," said Gantz in his final remarks.
The Israeli government is planning to issue thousands of new work visas for Gaza Strip residents, allowing them to work in Israel itself.
"We intend to expand humanitarian civilian policy, including an immediate increase in the number of workers allowed to enter Israel." Gantz added.
Regarding the security situation in the south of Israel, as well as the status of Israeli prisoners still held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Gantz said: "On the conditions of advancing the return of Israeli prisoners and missing persons, as well as maintaining peace, we will be able to expand this policy and develop the Gaza Strip further.
"Unfortunately, the residents of Gaza are captives of Hamas leaders who deprive them of a better life and a safe future for their children."
"The leaders of Hamas and the residents of Gaza will also be the ones to bear responsibility if the peace in Gaza or elsewhere is disturbed." Gantz concluded.