21 August 2001

Israel to facilitate passage of heavy equipment for PA power station
(Communicated by the Gaza DCO Spokesman)

Heavy mechanical/engineering equipment for the continued construction of a power station in the Palestinian Authority-controlled Gaza Strip will, from 15:00 tomorrow (Wednesday), 22.8.2001, until 05:00 on Thursday, 23.8.2001, be transported from Ashdod port to the station site in the Gaza Strip.

The equipment consists of gas turbines, transformers, heating boilers and condensers.

The equipment will be transported by Israeli trucks, with Israeli drivers, to the Karni crossing point (Ashdod-Ashkelon highway, Yad Mordechai, Sa’ad junction, Karni crossing). Once inside PA territory, the convoy will be escorted and guarded by PA security forces. The tentative schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 22.8.2001
15:00-16:00 – Convoy to depart Ashdod port.
18:00-19:00 – Arrive at Karni crossing.

Thursday, 23.8.2001
02:00-03:00 – Crossing from Israeli territory to PA territory.
04:00-05:00 – Arrival at station site.

The decision to transport the equipment despite the security problems in the area is based on the understanding of the project’s vital importance to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, and in accordance with the basic policy of distinguishing between those within the PA and other elements who engage in violent activity, and the basic humanitarian needs of population groups that do not engage in such activities.

The transfer of the equipment will be carried out in full coordination with the PA and with the support of the US Embassy in Israel.

Israel hopes that this action – in addition to its significance in assisting the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip – will constitute a meaningful contribution to the efforts of the PA to realize its strategic goal of independence in electricity production, contribute to a relaxation of tensions in the area, and contribute to more effective cooperation between the sides.