Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet rejected a plan which would have allowed 5,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to work in Israel, Ynet News reported yesterday.
News reports revealed that there had been secret talks between Israel and Hamas to allow 5,000 workers from Gaza to work in Israel as part of the truce understandings.
“In Gaza, people will choose to work in Israel over digging terror tunnels,” one security official told Ynet News. “Each of the 5,000 will be thoroughly checked on his way in and out of the Strip and will earn about NIS 3,500 [$988] in comparison to about NIS 1,000 [$282] he can make inside Gaza — if he is lucky and has a job there.”
The official added: “We are talking about more than NIS 25 million [$7 million] each month, that will allow workers to purchase products in Gaza and improve the economic situation there, which will, in turn, bring calm.”
“Any flare-up will, of course, mean the closing of the border. But today they are in a spot where they have nothing to lose.”
Despite the support of the Israeli civil administration and the Israeli army to give work permits for Gaza workers, Shin Bet insists on its position, claiming that Hamas would exploit the workers and use them to collect information or smuggle weapons.
At the same time, Shin Bet said, according to Ynet News, Israel has no presence inside the Gaza Strip like what is happening in the occupied West Bank, and thus can’t make immediate arrests of “terror suspects” if it needs to.