The American ambassador in Israel, Mr. Daniel Shapiro and his team, visited on Wednesday, December 7th 2011, in the COGAT office in Gaza and in the land crossings around the strip.
The ambassador came to visit as a guest of the Coordinator of government activities, General Eitan Dangout that gave the ambassador and his team a briefing of the civil policies towards the Gaza strip and the mechanism of entering merchandise into the strip.
General Dangout emphasized that “Along the last period, despite the threats and terror activities, the crossings have been working in a consecutive manner as the main method of entering merchandise in to the Gaza strip.”
The delegation began their tour in “Kerem Shalom” as a guest of the head of the Crossing Authorities, in the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General (ret.) Kamil Abu Rukon, stood close to learn the methods of merchandise entering, the cooking gas and aggregates in to the strip in the complicated security issues and reality.
General Dangout updated during the crossing’s visit, “during the last year, in average, 4500 merchandise trucks entered the Gaza strip, a rise of 96%, as apposed to this time of year in 2010. Also, 176 infrastructure projects have been approves, out of which 35 were completed and the rest are either at work, or in process.” Also, the General updated the export numbers from the strip abroad, and the broad infrastructure work in order to upgrade and widen “Kerem Shalom”.
The ambassador and his team viewed the strip and were accompanied by a precocious factor in the southern command that gave a security briefing with emphasis on standing up against the daily security challenges with facing the civil needs of the population of Gaza.
The delegation visited the “Erez” crossing as well, where the manager of the crossing, Mr. Shlomi Tzaban, briefed the work process in “Erez”, that is used for the movement of people between Gaza and Israel.
Colonel Hatib Mantzur, the chief of the COGAT office in Gaza, briefed the ambassador and his entourage regarding the method of movement of the International organization workers in the crossing, the exiting of merchants from Gaza and Humanitarian cases.
“Only in the past November even though the last escalation waves, 1336 Palestinians exited the strip in order to receive medical treatment in hospitals and 1400 merchants and businessmen, exited for commerce purposes with business authorities in Israel and abroad”, said Colonel Hatib Mantzur.