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Is Israel dangling economic carrot to lead Hamas to a truce?

Israel has allowed Gaza to import and export previously banned goods for the first time in 13 years, and some have interpreted the move as part of an effort to entice Hamas into a truce.
A truck carrying fruits arrives at Kerem Shalom crossing after it was reopened by Israel, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip October 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RC1B927E40E0
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — For the first time in more than a decade, Israel has allowed the export of products made in Gaza, bound for the Gulf, European and Israeli markets via the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing. Moreover, according to Dec. 29 reports by Palestinian and Israeli media outlets, Israel allowed some dual-use materials into Gaza. The moves followed a Dec. 26 announcement by Palestinian factions of a three-month suspension of weekly demonstrations on the border with Israel as part of the Great March of Return, launched in March 2018. After the suspension ends in March, protests will only be held once a month and on national occasions.

According to some observers, Israel appears to have viewed suspension of the demonstrations as a welcome sign of Hamas’ desire to reach a long-term truce agreement. The Israeli Security Cabinet had met on Dec. 29 to discuss “the calm” with Hamas, but did not disclose the results of the talks.

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