Since the Israeli government’s decision of June 2010, all commercial goods have entered the Gaza Strip freely, in accordance with the needs of the population.

 Economic indicators and implementation of Israeli policy in the Gaza Strip-Nov 2011

 

El Quds hospital project (Photo: COGAT)

(Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – COGAT)

Since the Israeli government’s decision of June 2010, all commercial goods have entered the Gaza Strip freely, in accordance with the needs of the population. The only exceptions are dual-use materials and building materials – the latter has until recently been restricted to projects sponsored by the international organizations.
 
On 15 November a plan to import building materials for the private sector in the Gaza Strip began. Building materials for the renovation and rehabilitation of 10 private sector factories will be imported, under the supervision of the international community. This is in order to ensure that the raw materials reach their intended destinations and do not fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.
 
Growth reached 31% in the second quarter of this year (the construction industry accounted for the most significant increase in economic growth). 

  • Unemployment is the lowest it has been in a decade.
  • There is no shortage of commercial goods in the Gaza Strip.
  • One hundred exit permits for businesspersons are issued every day, in addition to the passage of Gaza residents for humanitarian reasons and the entry of international organization employees.
  • The import of new cars is also permitted, and many luxury cars are imported to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.

Projects
 
Recently Israel approved 13 more projects of the international community, bringing to 176 the total number of projects approved. Thirty-five of the projects have been completed, 70 are in various stages of implementation, 63 have not yet begun, and eight were canceled.

Up to the beginning of November, 11,343 truckloads of building materials were delivered to the Gaza Strip for these projects.

Projects by type
 
Education – 64
Infrastructure – 32
Agriculture – 18
Health – 14
Housing – 13
Roads – 10
Miscellaneous – 25

Projects by sponsor

UNRWA – 76
USAID – 47
UNDP – 39
World Bank – 3
Red Cross – 3
France – 2
Germany – 2
Egypt – 1
Belgium – 1
Netherlands – 1
Sweden – 1

Exports
 
The agricultural export season begins on 21 November. Exports are expected to be similar to last year (291 truckloads of agricultural produce were exported last year). Last week seminars were held for exporters from Gaza on packing and export procedures in order to ensure optimal management of this year’s exports.
 
Israel also gave its approval in principle to textile and furniture exports; however, this has not gone forward due to reasons connected to the Palestinian side as well as the level of demand in the target markets abroad.