Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Tuesday his intention to immediately expand the number of Gazans who receive work permits to work in Israel, Kan reported.

The announcement was made during a tour of the Gaza border, together with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi.

“Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, we created a new equation of deterrence. We are building up our force and our operational plans, and we are creating a new civilian equation directly vis-à-vis the residents of Gaza,” Gantz stated.

“We plan to expand the civilian humanitarian policy, including an immediate expansion of the number of employees who head out to Israel [for work],” he said.

The defense minister said that if the current quiet is maintained, progress could be made on a deal to release Palestinian security prisoners for the bodies of two IDF personnel and two living Israeli civilians in Hamas captivity.

“Unfortunately, the residents of Gaza are captives of the head of Hamas, who prevent them from making a living and having a better future for their children. The heads of Hamas and the residents of Gaza will be the ones who will bear the consequences if quiet is violated in Gaza or in other places,” said Gantz.

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