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PA claims Israel will allow tires into Gaza; Israeli official says it’s ‘a lie’

Israel blocked the entry of tires into Gaza after border protests erupted in March 2018, sending prices skyrocketing

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Palestinians wave their national flags while others burn tires near the fence of Gaza Strip border with Israel during clashes east of Gaza City, on November 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians wave their national flags while others burn tires near the fence of Gaza Strip border with Israel during clashes east of Gaza City, on November 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

A Palestinian Authority official on Wednesday said Israel has promised to allow a shipment of tires into the Gaza Strip, but an Israeli security source flatly denied the claim, calling it a “lie.”

Israel banned the entry of tires into Gaza shortly after weekly protests in the border region between the Jewish state and the coastal enclave began in late March 2018.

Palestinians in Gaza have frequently set tires on fire at the protests to impair the vision of Israeli soldiers and other security personnel.

“We have received promises from the other side [Israel] that it will allow 43 containers of tires into Gaza in the coming period,” PA Transportation Ministry spokesman Musa Rahal told The Times of Israel in a phone call.

Rahal claimed that Israel had conveyed the promises through a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee that is tasked with dealing with transportation-related matters.

An Israeli security official, however, sharply disputed Rahal’s claim.

“It is simply a lie,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Palestinians burn tires along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis, on May 25, 2018. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

Rahal said Israel’s ban on the entry of tires to Gaza has significantly affected the cost.

“There is a scarcity of tires in Gaza, which has made prices skyrocket,” he said. “There is also only a small amount of quality tires.”

In an article published by The Associated Press in November 2018, Rushdi al-Khour, the head of the association of Gaza spare parts merchants, said the cost of a pair of tires had jumped from $120 to $300.

The Hamas terror group has vowed that the protests in the border region will continue until Israel lifts its restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza.

Israeli officials have said that the limitations on movement aim to prevent terror groups in Gaza from gaining access weapons or materials to build them.

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