4,600 Gazans Enter Israel, Highest at Erez Crossing in 15 Years


Palestinian workers at the Erez Crossing in Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, as they wait to enter Israel for work, March 13. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

Around 4,600 Gazans entered Israel on Sunday at the reopened Erez Crossing, which is the highest single-day number at the border crossing in 15 years, Army Radio reported.

Israel had sealed the crossing, as well as the crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Yehudah and Shomron, on May 3, preventing the flow of some 12,000 Palestinian Gazan workers into Israel. The closures were in response to Hamas’s role in stoking violence across Israel.

Israel reopened the crossings to Yehudah and Shomron on May 9.

Palestinian workers from Gaza and those with work permits were allowed into Israel after a security assessment by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Motzoei Shabbos.

“The continuation of the civil policy will be possible in accordance with situational assessments and the preservation of security stability,” COGAT said in a statement.

The decision to reopen the crossing was opposed by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who said the move was unjustified at this time.

In a post, Sa’ar cited the ongoing incitement by Hamas and its leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and said the terror group’s leaders should be “taken out of their comfort zone.”

The crossing was scheduled to reopen on May 6 but was kept shut after a fatal terrorist attack in Elad.

Israel is currently facing a terror wave that has seen 19 people killed, including three Jews, Hy”d, during a terrorist attack in Elad.

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