Israel Eases Some Gaza Border Restrictions After Truce Holds

Israel is easing some Gaza border restrictions as part of its truce with Hamas by allowing farmers to visit land near the security fence and letting fisherman go farther out to sea.

The cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians was brokered by Egypt and halted cross-border fighting that claimed the lives of 166 Palestinians and six Israelis, reports ABC News.

Israel and Hamas are now set to negotiate how to ease the boarder blockade, which was first imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.

Tens of thousand of children in Gaza also returned to school on Saturday for the first time since fighting ended on Wednesday night. Roughly half of Gaza’s population is children.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas was the bloodiest seen in four years. Israel originally launched the offensive on the Gaza strip to put an end to rocket fire that has plagued the country’s southern regions for years.

While Israel has stated it reached its objectives in the offensive, Hamas has claimed victory, saying that Israel didn’t make good on threats of a ground invasion, according to Yahoo! News.

The truce between Israel and Hamas requires Israel to ease border restrictions on Gaza and a deal is expected to be reached through negotiations moderated by Egypt.

In allowing the border blockade to be relaxed, Israel is demanding that Hamas stop smuggling weapons into Gaza. In return, Hamas is asking for free movement for people and goods in and out of Gaza. Israel and Egypt originally set up the blockade after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, to try and isolate Islamic militants.