As part of the daily routine at the crossings, 210 humanitarian aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip from Israel on Sunday (Aug. 8)
Date: 08/08/2010, 4:41 PM Author: Elana Kieffer
Every day, humanitarian aid enters the Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom and Karni Conveyor crossings, while the Erez crossing has been designated for the transfer of people. On Sunday (Aug 8), for example, 210 trucks carrying goods and fuel entered through the Kerem Shalom crossing. These activities all take place under the authority of IDF (Zahal)’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), the unit responsible for the coordination of civilian issues between the Israeli government, the IDF (Zahal), international organizations, international diplomats, and the Palestinian Authority.
In the year 2009, CoGAT coordinated the transfer of 30,920 truckloads of humanitarian aid, including food products, construction materials and educational supplies into the Gaza Strip. However, the Israeli Security Cabinet approved a decision in June 2010 to enhance the capacity of goods transferred, and there has therefore been a marked increase in the numbers of trucks entering the Gaza Strip daily.
Cooperation among Palestinian and Israeli Officials
In order to further implement this enhancement, Israelis and Palestinians have been working together and have established a team, led by Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, who serves as IDF (Zahal)’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh, from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.
In addition, a joint task force of representatives from the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs, economic officials from CoGAT, and personnel from the Israeli Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority has been formed. This new joint task force will work to examine further ways of implementing the Cabinet’s June decision to increase capacity of goods crossing into the Gaza Strip.
Recently, the Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority has been completing development and infrastructure work on both sides of the crossing. Areas for unloading goods were expanded and given improvements, hours of operation at the crossing were increased and personnel operating the crossing were reinforced. Following a request by the Palestinian Crossings Administration, thousands of tons of boxes and thousands of tons of asphalt have also been delivered in order to assist in the refurbishing of the Palestinian side of the crossing.
Special Greenhouse Projects in the Gaza Strip
In addition to the daily delivery of regular humanitarian aid, equipment for several special projects has been transferred in. Following the Cabinet’s June decision, 31 new projects have been authorized by the Palestinian Authority and CoGAT. One such project, named “Family Agricultural Greenhouses”, is expected to support 900 Gaza families. Within the framework of this undertaking, CoGAT is working with the Palestinian Authority and USAID to coordinate the transfer of materials for three greenhouses to be constructed in the Gaza Strip.