In a recent conversation with the heads of Gaza border communities, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman referred to recent calm in the area, saying, "If the quiet on the border with the Gaza Strip continues, we will allow for a significant increase in humanitarian aid."
In fact, in a series of moves approved by the Lieberman, Israel will begin allowing more fuel, building equipment, vehicles and workers to be transferred to and from the Gaza Strip
Moreover and for the first time, a decision was made to establish a conveyor system for transferring fuel and basic construction materials from the Erez border crossing [map] to the northern Gaza Strip.
Construction of the conveyer system is set to begin in about a year.
It is a significant gesture by Israel. Currently, the only crossing for equipment into the Gaza Strip occurs is a the Kerem Shalom Crossing [map link].
An in increase humanitarian shipments and a new crossing for the transfer of materials are not the only things.
The Ministry of Defense has also decided to allow more passes for Palestinians to work in Israel. The decision was made following demands from the heads of Israeli communities that border Gaza. Their need is for more more agricultural workers.
Furthermore, restrictions on vehicles being imported into the Gaza Strip were recently loosened. As a result, several hundred vehicles have passed through the Erez Crossing in the last three months.
The easing of restrictions, approved by the Lieberman, was also made possible by relative quiet on the border.
Israel is taking these steps knowing that some materials transferred to the Gaza Strip remain in the hands of Hamas. Hamas, in turn, uses them for military purposes.
Counterbalancing this is Israel's awareness of the difficult humanitarian situation in Gaza. Accordingly, Jerusalem is taking these steps to reduce the difficulty as much as possible.
Nevertheless, Israeli officials acknowledge that these measures can be halted at any moment should an escalation occur.
At present, roughly 1,000 trucks a day transfer supplies to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Border Crossing. Before Operation Protective Edge, some 300 trucks transferred supplies each day.
This is a lightly edited version of the original article posted by YNet News at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4906851,00.html