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Israeli press review: Military recommends construction of Gaza industrial zone

New project would reportedly provide 5,000 jobs for Palestinians, meanwhile Israel's police is seeing an uptick in sexual harassment cases
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sings the national anthem during the inauguration ceremony of Israel's 21st Knesset (Reuters)

Joint industrial zone with Gaza proposed

The Israeli military has recommended building a joint industrial zone in the Karni crossing area, northeast of the Gaza Strip, Maariv newspaper reported.

The industrial zone would be similar to the one that was previously operating near the Erez crossing before all operations ceased and the factories relocated when Israel pulled out from the coastal enclave in 2005.

Some 5,000 Palestinian workers from the besieged territory would be employed and their movement in Israel would be restricted to the area within the zone, Maariv said.

The Karni crossing, which was used for shipping goods and products, was closed in 2011. Shipments now go through the Karam Abu Salem crossing.

Maariv said the Israeli government hasn’t given the green light on the construction of the zone, but it is already using the project as a bargaining chip in the Egyptian-led talks with the Hamas movement that controls Gaza.

It would take five years to build the industrial zone, the paper said.

Sexual harassment on the rise in Israeli police

The number of sexual harassment complaints in Israel’s police department increased by more than 20 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, Kan news site reported.

Data released by the police showed that the number of harassment complaints has been fluctuating since 2015, when 90 complaints were submitted and some police officers resigned over sexual misconduct allegations.

Only 65 complaints were filed in 2016, but former police chief Roni al-Shiekh said "anonymous complaints were not getting accepted" by the police that year.

In 2017, 89 complaints were submitted, while the number rose to 110 in 2018.

The data "is just the tip of the iceberg. The police must rebuild the trust of the people who were the harassed, so that they feel they have a point of contact they can turn to in case of an attack,” Ayelet Razin Beit Or, a legal adviser at the Association of Sexual Harassment Center, told Kan.

The Police Internal Investigations Department, which receives sexual harassment complaints, has yet to publish its report on the matter. There are currently 32,000 officers serving in the Israeli police.