Security Establishment Threat Assessment Pertaining to Gaza Laborers Heading into Israel

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In the background of the security establishment’s debate over the outline of the arrangement with Gaza in the future, as well as the possibilities for economic benefits to Hamas in the framework of a long-term arrangement, COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) has completed its groundwork regarding the entry of thousands of Gazans into Israel.

Walla News reports that according to a security source, “To increase the number of workers from Gaza is to add money to Gaza, and there is an immediate solution to permit 5000 Gazans into Israel to work in construction and agricultural fields. Each worker will earn at least NIS 7000 monthly in Israel, which means they will earn NIS 35 million monthly and NIS 15 billion annually based on the number of 5,000 laborers.

COGAT believes that this will work wonders for the Gazan economy and for the security situation, Walla quotes the security source adding. COGAT officials add that families in Gaza will do everything possible to maintain their work permits to enter Israel and COGAT feels the time has come for a government decision towards advancing a future process with Gaza.

The ISA (Israel Security Agency/Shin Bet) however is not on board, voicing objections to bringing 5000 Gazans into Israel daily, a move that will significantly increase security concerns and risks. However, the security organization is offering an alternative plan for increasing the Gazan economy with far less security risk for Israel.

In response to ISA concerns, the security source is quoted explaining that the Erez Crossing from Gaza to Israel is one of the most technologically advanced with state-of-the-art security capabilities, and it is almost impossible to smuggle weapons or ammunition into via the crossing.

In recent years, including 2018 and 2019, 5000 Gaza workers and merchants have been entering on a regular basis, entering Israel and Yehuda and Shomron. This is part of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s vision, that by assisting the Gazan economy, it will contribute to stability and a reduction in attacks originating from Gaza.

COGAT stresses that each permit is given individually, and only after the applicant is scrutinized in the screening process.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)