(Communicated by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)
The expansion of activity at the crossings to increase the capacity of goods transferred to Gaza is ongoing. Today (Monday), August 2, 2010, 200 trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom Crossing into the Gaza Strip, as part of the expanded activities of the land crossings and the implementation of the Israeli Cabinet's decision on June 20, 2010
vis-à-vis 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. Moreover, in order to consider additional ways of 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 - headed by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot and Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh - was established.
The team held a series of meetings, and in the latest meeting, which took place on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 an agreement was reached on the principles of a working plan that will be chaired by the head of Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, Colonel Moshe Levy and the Palestinian Crossings Administration.
It was also decided to establish a joint working team of the economic officials in COGAT, representatives of the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority, in order to examine further ways to implement the Cabinet's decision.
During the past few weeks, development and infrastructure work has been carried out on both sides of the crossing by the Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority. Thus, the areas for unloading goods were improved and expanded, the hours of operations 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 also emphasizes that meanwhile, the delivery of construction materials for humanitarian projects in Gaza continues, following the approval of the 31 internationally funded projects.
The recent rockets and mortars fired at Israel's southern communities by terrorist organizations took place despite actions to implement the expansion of Israel's civilian policy concerning the Gaza Strip.