Israel is set to pay the Gaza Strip $5.2 billion to fix its border, the second such payment this year as Israel’s Hamas rulers face a major challenge to their grip on the impoverished coastal enclave.
The Israeli government is paying for the repair work, and Israel’s Cabinet approved the plan on Monday, setting the stage for a formal payment next month.
The new figure will be the largest ever for Gaza, which is in the midst of an acute economic crisis, with a population of nearly 1.8 million.
The money will cover the cost of repairing the border fence and the construction of a new tunnel, according to the budget, which was approved by the Defense Ministry.
Israel is currently repairing a fence and building a tunnel along the southern border with Gaza.
The amount is about half of what Hamas paid in the past.
The government had promised to pay about $3 billion in 2015 and 2016, but the amount has since risen.
Israel has also pledged more than $4 billion to the reconstruction effort.
The Hamas rulers, who control Gaza and have imposed a blockade on the strip, have long insisted that the country needs to rebuild, and the new payment represents a major blow to the government.
The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz held a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to discuss the countrys reconstruction efforts.
Israel also agreed to help Egypt reconstruct Gaza.