(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

As of today, January 19, 2006, responsibility over the Erez security crossing will be transferred from the IDF to the Administration for Crossing Points in the Ministry of Defense. The crossing will be operated by a civilian company operating on behalf of the Ministry of Defense.

Following the redeployment of Israeli security forces in the area after the completion of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and in continuation with the broader initiative of transferring the responsibility over security crossings from the IDF to the hands of civilian bodies, the Erez workers’ security crossing will be operated by a civilian company contracted by the State of Israel and under the direction of the Ministry of Defense, in accordance with the joint security guidance of the Ministry of Defense and the IDF.

The transfer of the responsibility over the crossing will be carried out in a gradual and regulated manner. IDF officials will guide and direct those officials replacing them; this will include the establishment of a personnel interface and construction works inside the crossing, this in order to maintain the conditions required to operate the crossing more efficiently.   

The crossing will continue to service workers and merchants, humanitarian cases, diplomats, international organization workers and additional authorized groups entering and exiting the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the IDF and District Coordination Office policy of maintaining the fabric of life of the Palestinian population which is not involved in terror activity.