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Israelis Permitted into Gaza

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For the first time since the start of Palestinian self-rule last May, Israelis have been granted permission to enter the Gaza self-rule area.

The head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, said Israelis will be able to enter the autonomous area on condition that they coordinate ahead of time with the Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez checkpoint separating Israel from Gaza.

With the transfer of autonomy to the Palestinians last year, the then-head of the southern command, Matan Vilnai, issued an order barring Israelis entrance to Gaza — with the exception of Jewish residents of the area, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.

The new directive is intended to make it easier for Israeli contractors and businessmen to maintain ties with their Palestinian counterparts in Gaza.

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