As part of Israel`s expansionary civilian and economic policy towards the Palestinian Authority in the last few years, and driven by the continuous joint work of Israel, the international community and the PA, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories publishes a series of new economic steps and initiatives, both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Date: 07.10.13    

Gaza:
• The transfer of building materials to the Gaza Strip for the use of the private sector was approved (350 trucks per week), in order to expand employment and strengthen private sector activity.
• The amount of water supplied to the Gaza Strip by Israel was doubled (a total of 10 MCM) .Israel has begun to lay a water line within its territory, which would connect with Gaza and supply 5 MCM a year, in addition to the 5 MCM supplied currently as specified in the Oslo Accords.
• Transfer of fuels and equipment for the power plant in the Gaza Strip was coordinated, in order to enlarge the independent production of electricity, which would be used to operate the Northern Strip Wastewater Treatment Plant in November 2013.
• Promotion of 16 internationally funded infrastructure, education and health projects, for the benefit of the civil population in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the 261 projects which had already been approved.

The West Bank:
• An addition of 4 MCM of water a year, added to the 53 MCM supplied every year, despite the PA’s flawed management of the water sector and the inadequate treatment of the infrastructure.
• Expansion of employment:
o 5000 more Palestinians would be able to work in Israel, in addition to the 70,000 Palestinians workers who enter Israel and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria daily.
o Expansion of the age criterion for workers employed in Israel, in order to enable younger people to work in Israel (from 26 to 24).
o Increase of the quota for overnight permits in Israel from 7,000 to 10,000. Furthermore, the age criterion was reduced from 30 to 26.
• Extension of business hours at the Allenby Border Terminal by two more hours. In the future, it will operate around the clock five days a week.
• Economic cooperation
o Meetings of economic teams for resolving common issues related to fuels, customs, money transfers and taxation.
o Activation of an electronic interfaceto promote access and synchronization between the Israeli and the Palestinian Ministry of Finance tax systems.
• Support in the agriculture sector:
o Promotion of agriculture initiatives bilaterally, particularly the establishment of a joint agriculture training center.
o As part of the permit to market Palestinian animal products to Israel, Israel supports the PA economy and adjusts the Palestinian veterinary services for them to fit international sanitation procedures.
• The Ramadan gestures continue:
o During Sundays through Thursdays, entrance to Israel without the need for a permit, for men and women over the age of 60 and children under the age of 12 accompanied by a parent.
o On Fridays, men over 45 and women can enter Israel freely. First and second degree relatives enter Israel for family visits with their children who areunder 16.
o For prayers n the Temple Mount, approximately 20,000 Palestinians over the age of 35 enter Israel.