The Israeli authorities will rue the day. “Israel eases Gaza border restrictions after Hamas truce deal,” from the Associated Press, November 24:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip ““ Gaza residents said Saturday that Israel has eased some border restrictions as part of its truce with the Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers, allowing farmers to visit land near its security fence and letting fishermen head further out to sea.
The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire ended eight days of cross-border fighting that claimed 166 Palestinian and six Israeli lives, according to health officials.
As part of the deal, Israel and Hamas are now to negotiate a further easing of the Gaza border blockade, first imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007….
The truce is to lead to a new border deal for Gaza, with Egypt hosting indirect talks between Israel and Hamas. Israel has shunned Hamas as a terrorist group and refuses to negotiate with it directly.
Israeli demands that Hamas halt weapons smuggling into Gaza, while Hamas seeks free movement for people and goods in and out of Gaza.
After the Hamas takeover in 2007, Israel and then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sealed Gaza to isolate the Islamic militants and make it harder for them to govern.
The restrictions have since been eased because of international pressure on Israel and because of regime change in Egypt. Both Hamas and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, elected earlier this year, are members of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Before the Nov. 14 start of the fighting, Gaza received most of its consumer goods through an Israeli cargo crossing, while Israel banned virtually all exports and travel from Gaza, preventing the area’s battered economy from bouncing back.
Items restricted by Israel, such as construction materials, were brought into Gaza through smuggling tunnels from Egypt, along with weapons for Hamas….