Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation Increases at Crossings

The expansion of activities in the crossings is ongoing, as part of the implementation of the Israeli Cabinet’s June decision

Date: 03/08/2010, 4:12 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

The expansion of activity at the crossings to increase the capacity of goods transferred to Gaza is continuing. For example, on Monday (Aug. 2) a total of 369 humanitarian aid trucks carrying goods, gas, and fuel entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom and Karni Conveyor crossings, as part of the expanded activities of the land crossings and the implementation of the Israeli Cabinet’s decision on June 20th, regarding Israel’s civilian policy concerning the Gaza Strip.

Expansion of activity at the crossings was made possible after extensive staff work in cooperation with the relevant security authorities and relevant ministries. In order to consider additional ways of further expanding activity at the Kerem Shalom crossing, as well as meeting the timetable that has set to increase the crossing’s capacity to 250 trucks a day, an Israeli-Palestinian team has been established, headed by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot and Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh.

The team has met a number of times. In the latest meeting, which took place on Wednesday (July 28) the team reached an agreement about the principles of a working plan that will be chaired by the Palestinian Crossings Administration and IDF (Zahal)’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration CLA), Col. Moshe Levy.

It was also decided to establish a joint working team of economic officials in CoGAT, representatives of The Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Defense’s Crossing Authority, in order to examine further ways to implement the Cabinet’s decision and increase capacity of goods crossing into the Gaza Strip.

During the past few weeks, development and infrastructure work has been carried out on both sides of the crossing by the Crossing Authority of the Ministry of Defense. Areas for unloading goods were expanded and given improvements, hours of operation at the crossing were increased, personnel operating the crossing were reinforced, and lighting equipment was added to enable the crossing to be open at night. In addition, 38,000 tons worth of boxes and 51,000 tons worth of asphalt have been delivered in recent weeks to further the expansion and operation of the Palestinian side of the crossing, at the request of the Palestinian Crossings Administration.

The CoGAT Spokesman has emphasized that in the meantime, the delivery of construction materials humanitarian projects in the Gaza Strip continues.

The recent rockets and mortars fired at Israel’s southern communities by terrorist organizations took place despite actions to expand Israel’s civilian policy concerning the Gaza Strip.