The spokesman of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced that the activities aimed at expanding the operations of the overland border crossings are continuing. The objective of this move is to increase the crossings` capacity to transfer goods into the Gaza Strip. Today, Monday 22 Av 5770 (02/08/2010), more than 200 trucks entered Gaza and this number will even increa

Date: 02.08.10    

Expansion of operations of the overland crossings was made possible after intense committee work in conjunction with representatives from the Ministry of Defense and various other government ministries. In addition, in order to examine ways to expand the operations of the ‘Kerem Shalom’ crossing and in order to meet the schedule determined for increasing the number of trucks passing through the crossing each day to 250, a joint Israeli-Palestinian team has been formed headed by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Eitan Dangot and the Palestinian Minister for Civilian Affairs Hussein A-Sheikh.

The team has already met on a number of occasions and during the last session which occurred on Wednesday July 28, the principles for the operations plan were agreed upon. The plan will be coordinated by the head of the District Coordination Office in Gaza Colonel Moshe Levy and the Palestinian Crossings Administration. In addition, the establishment of a joint work team was decided upon. The team will comprise economic personnel from the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, representatives from the Palestinian Ministry of Civilian Affairs and a representative from the Crossing Authority of the Ministry of Defense and will examine additional ways to implement the Cabinet’s decision.

Over the past weeks the Crossings Authority of the Ministry of Defense has been preparing to implement the political decisions and as such has expanded the handling capacity through development and infrastructure operations at the crossing, extended the hours of operation and by reinforcing the personnel at the crossing. In addition, in coordination with the Palestinian Crossings Administration, 38000 tons of crates and 51000 tons of asphalt have been transported during the last few weeks which have enabled the Palestinians to expand and prepare the Palestinian side of the crossing. Other operational means have also been added and lighting systems for operating the crossing after nightfall have been installed.

The spokesman of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories mentioned that at the same time, the transfer of building materials for humanitarian projects in Gaza has been continuing. This is in accordance with the decision to authorize 31 projects with international financing.

It should be emphasized that rocket and mortar fire towards Israeli towns in the south by the terror organizations has been continuing during recent days despite the activities to expand the civilian policy towards the Gaza Strip.