July 27, 2003

Easing conditions for the Palestinian civilian population
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Efforts made to ease conditions for the Palestinian population throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, mainly opening up checkpoints and traffic routes, awarding permits for passage and alleviations on the transport of merchandise.

Beginning this morning, following decisions made by the government, the implementation of several decisions for easing conditions for the Palestinian civilian population were carried out. As the Palestinians act to extensively thwart and prevent terror attacks, the IDF will be able to alleviate the security measures, which will improve the quality of life for Palestinian residents.

Judea and Samaria:

Easing at crossings and main roads:

  • The Surda checkpoint has been lifted, thus allowing passage from the city of Ramallah northward.
  • The Ein Arik checkpoint has been lifted, thus allowing passage from Ramallah to villages to its west.
  • The checkpoints in Jabel Sindak have been removed, thus allowing passage from the city of Hebron to rural areas south.
  • Beginning this weekend, passage from Palestinian Tekoa to Bethlehem and the villages of Sair and A- Siuch is made possible.
  • Recently, the Bnei Naim quarry passageway for trucks to the city of Hebron has been opened.
  • During the past few months roadblocks in the Beit Kahil bridge have been lifted, thus allowing passage from Hebron to Halhul and the villages north. (Beit Omar, Idna, Heres, Tarkumia).
  • A back-to-back passage in Awarta, near Nablus, that has been opened lately, has eased the entrance of merchandise into Nablus and has in fact doubled the number of trucks delivering goods to the city on a daily basis.

    Additional entrance permits given to Palestinian workers and merchants by the civil administration:

  • The entrance of 2,000 workers and 2,000 merchants from Bethlehem has been approved. It should be noted that the number of entrance visas from Bethlehem to Israel has increased from 1,000 to 4,000.
  • The entrance of 500 female workers from Tul Karem has been approved.
  • Operation of public transportation between Nablus and Jenin.
  • The entrance of 500 Christians from Bethlehem to Israel has been approved.

    The Gaza Strip:

  • The Rafah Terminal will be open between the hours of 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • The entrance of 18,000 workers into Israeli territory has been authorized. It should be noted that this includes the addition of 5,000 entrance visas.