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Tel Aviv Permits Entry of Heavy Equipment to Gaza 

Tel Aviv Permits Entry of Heavy Equipment to Gaza 

Thursday, 23 January, 2020 - 10:45
A Palestinian from Rafah in the Gaza Strip transports a refill gas tank on a motorcycle. Reuters file photo
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat

As Israel moves to ease certain measures under the pretext of understandings with Hamas movement, despite the usual threat of Israeli raids, five heavy equipment machinery entered the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

The machinery, which entered the Palestinian enclave from its southern Kerem Shalom border crossing, will be used for excavation and maintenance purposes.

“This equipment was purchased in 2015 with funding from the World Bank within the framework of the Gaza Water Supply and Sanitation Services Improvement Program (WSSSIP) and through the Palestinian Water Authority,” said Munther Shiblaq, Director General of the Coastal Municipalities Water Authority in Gaza.

The purchase of the machinery, according to Shiblaq, is to improve efficiency in operations and maintenance.

Israel had previously rejected allowing the machinery into Gaza, saying they could be used to dig tunnels, and forcing their storage in warehouses in Ramallah.

Israel stipulated that GPS devices be placed on the equipment in order to monitor their movement.

A tense atmosphere prevailed between Israel and Gaza this week in the wake of sending incendiary balloons to Israeli towns.

Israel considered it a “resumption of terrorist operations,” and threatened to carry out raids if such actions aren’t brought to an immediate halt.

The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that it had killed three Palestinians on the border with Gaza, claiming they had tried to infiltrate into Israel to carry out an armed operation.

Nevertheless, Israeli warnings did not prevent authorities in Tel Aviv from allowing the heavy equipment in.

In addition to introducing the machinery, Israel allowed the transfer of cash from Qatar to Gaza. The money, according to local reports, was distributed among 70,000 Gazan families.

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