As Egypt’s military junta cracks down more and more on the Rafah border crossing, the Israeli government seems to be heading in the opposition direction, dramatically lifting restrictions on imports to the besieged enclave.
Much of Gaza’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed during the 2008 Israeli invasion, and they have been unable to import construction material in quantity to repair much of anything since. In late 2012, Israel began allow limited amounts of gravel into Gaza, the first real easing.
The 20 trucks of gravel has been converted to 70 trucks per day, and Israel will also allow cement into the strip for the first time in years as part of that new limit. Israeli officials say the move has no connection to ongoing peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Though that three-and-a-half fold increase is a dramatic one on paper, Gazans had been managing to smuggling limited amounts of material in from neighboring Egypt in the past, and with that connection now severed, the Israeli goods will have to make up for the losses as well.