Until now, 78 projects by international organizations and nations, in health, infrastructure, housing and education, have been approved.  Israel will continue to expand the extent of these projects.

 Security Cabinet decision on Gaza Strip exports

 

Palestinian expert checks freshly harvested strawberries for export on a farm in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip November 27, 2010 (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Security Cabinet this morning (Wednesday, 8 December 2010), approved additional measures to expedite increased exports from the Gaza Strip, thus assisting its economy and easing the burden of the Gazan population under the repressive Hamas terrorist regime. 

The Security Cabinet was presented data regarding the expanding Gazan economy, including a recently released International Monetary Fund report which shows a 16% expansion and a decrease in unemployment in the first half of the year.  This trend is expected to continue in the second half as well. 

Since the last Security Cabinet decision regarding Israel’s policy towards Gaza, about six months ago, there has been a significant rise in the number of trucks entering Gaza daily via the Kerem Shalom crossing.  The crossing’s capacity allows up to 250 trucks daily, yet this capacity is higher than the present demand.  

The Security Cabinet was briefed that until now 78 projects by international organizations and nations, in health, infrastructure, housing and education, have been approved.  Israel will continue to expand the extent of these projects. 

Parallel to these efforts to improve conditions of the Gaza Strip population, Israel calls upon the international community to continue the blockade on the Hamas regime and to implement the policy of the international Quartet, and hereby utilize all means to prevent the continued strengthening and armament of Hamas and other organizations with missiles and weapons aimed at and fired at Israel’s civilian population.  This continued armament contravenes international law, harms the interests of the Gazan civilian population and will harm Israel’s ability to continue to ease and improve the wellbeing of the people of Gaza. 

Data regarding today’s Security Cabinet decision
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
The following data are pursuant to today’s Security Cabinet decision:
 
* According to a September 2010 IMF report, the economy of the Gaza Strip grew by 16% in the first half of 2010.  This trend is expected to continue in the second half as well.
 
* Since the 20 June 2010 Security Cabinet decision, there has been a 92% increase in the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip, via the Kerem Shalom crossing, on a daily basis.
 
* Despite the expansion of the capacity of the land crossings, such that 250 trucks may enter the Gaza Strip on a daily basis, in practice, the Palestinians are not maximizing the capacity of the crossings. Since the beginning of August 2010, the average number of trucks entering the Strip has been 176.
 
* Since the above-mentioned June 2010 Security Cabinet decision, approximately 1,500 truckloads (about 50,000 tons) of construction inputs have entered the Gaza Strip, for the benefit of development projects financed and supervised by the international community. This has been in order to prevent the diversion of the inputs for use by the terrorist organizations, including the building up of their military strength.
 
* Since the aforesaid decision, over 400 vehicles have entered the Gaza Strip for the private sector.
 
* New products, the entry of which into the Gaza Strip, began in July 2010, constitute 32% of the overall goods entering the Strip on a daily basis.
 
* As of the present, Israel has approved the advancement of 76 projects, under international financing and supervision, which have received the approval of the Palestinian Authority, with an emphasis on education, infrastructures, health and housing projects.
 
* Israel has recently approved the export of strawberries and flowers from the Gaza Strip to European markets. 23 tons of strawberries and approximately 33,000 flowers have been exported thus far.
 
* Exports from the Gaza Strip, following the aforesaid decision, will – at the current stage – focus, inter alia, on the agriculture, furniture and textiles sectors.  The exporting us subject to security and logistical preparations at the Kerem Shalom crossing.