Israel nixes 1,500 work permits after Gaza rocket attacks

Rocket attacks from Gaza prompt Israel to suspend plan increasing number of workers in Israel by more than 10%.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel is shelving plans to allow additional workers from the Gaza Strip to enter the country following a wave of rocket attacks from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Saturday that it has frozen plans to issue 1,500 additional work permits for Gazans, in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Two rockets were launched from the Strip towards Israel territory Saturday morning, just hours after President Joe Biden departed from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport on a direct flight for Saudi Arabia.

One rocket fired in the initial attack was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Ashkelon, while the other landed harmlessly in an open area.

Israel responded to the rocket attacks with IDF strikes on a Hamas underground rocket factory.

The Israeli military said the factory was “one of the largest and most important sites in the Strip for the production of base materials for rockets by terror groups.”

Two additional rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel after the retaliatory IDF strikes.

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Both rockets landed in open areas in the Lakhish Regional Council area. No damage or injuries were reported.

A second Hamas position in the Gaza Strip was struck by IDF forces in response to the attacks.

Last Tuesday, ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, Israel announced it would issue 1,500 new work permits for Gazans as a goodwill gesture. The move would have raised the total number of work permits for Gazans by more than 10%, from 14,000 to 15,500.

But on Saturday, COGAT announced that in the wake of the rocket fire, Israel has suspended the work permit increase.

“The Hamas terror group bears responsibility for everything that is done in and emanates from the Gaza Strip toward the State of Israel, and it will bear the consequences.”

In June, Israel froze plans to offer 2,000 additional work permits to Gazans, following a rocket attack from the enclave. Days later, the plan was reinstated.

Under Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Defense Ministry intends to gradually increase the number of Gaza workers permitted into Israel to rise to 20,000, 13,000 more than the 7,000 work permits in mid-2021.