IDF officials meet with Palestinian businessmen from Gaza

The IDF (Zahal)’s policy is to aid the civilian population of the Gaza Strip

Date: 03/01/2012, 4:41 PM     Author: COGAT Website

Last week, meetings were held at the Gaza District Coordination Office in which COGAT and Gaza DCO officers held discussions with Palestinian businessmen and farmers from the Gaza Strip.

The meetings were attended by Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major General Eitan Dangot and Gaza DCO Commander Colonel Khatib Mansour.
“Already for a long time we have not been talking about the humanitarian situation Gaza but rather about promoting and developing the local economy,” said one of the Palestinian businessmen.

The Palestinians raised a number of matters, primarily three main issues where, they said, changes could lead to dramatic improvements in the economic situation in the Gaza – exports from Gaza to Israel and Judea and Samaria; imports of dual-use materials; and the quota of merchants permitted to enter Israel from Gaza.

Impressive economic data was recorded in Gaza in 2011. The GDP grew by 31 percent, unemployment dropped to its lowest level in nearly a decade at 25 percent, more than 170 projects were approved and raw materials were imported for private sector factories.   

Maj. Gen. Dangot updated the Palestinians on a number of matters, including the more than 100 million shekels that Israel has invested in expanding and updating the Kerem Shalom land crossing which will continue to be the economic and commercial traffic artery from Israel to Gaza.

“The matter of expanding the list of dual-use materials is currently being checked by COGAT with the relevant security bodies,” Maj. Gen. Dangot said. “We will do everything possible to accommodate the needs of factory owners in Gaza.”

The businessmen and farmers expressed appreciation for the initiatives, the meeting and the warm professional relationship, noting that “the bilateral and personal meeting, the deep and fruitful discussion (even if there is not a practical solution for all problems in the foreseeable future), is the main way to raise issues, to clarify and obtain clarifications, and to pass along in an authentic manner the true mindset and vitality in the Gaza Strip.”