(Communicated by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)
On Sunday, 26 February 2012, the Israel government and the government of the Netherlands signed a joint declaration concerning the deployment of screening machines for goods passing over Allenby Bridge and later through the Kerem Shalom Crossing as well. These new scanners will facilitate a significant expansion in the extent of trade between Gaza, and Judea and Samaria, and Jordan and other international markets.
The agreement followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to the Netherlands and detailed discussions between the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Eytan Dangot, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom and representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Ports Authority, the Netherlands government, the Quartet and the Palestinian Authority. It was agreed that the Government of the Netherlands would purchase the screening machines and subsequently donate them to the Palestinian Authority.
The deployment of these advanced screening machines will enable effective and rapid inspection of the goods being transferred from Gaza as well as from Judea and Samaria. This in turn will significantly improve the export and import capacity of the crossings. It is estimated that the improvements will enable a 30% increase in the amount of goods being exported from the Palestinian Authority to international markets.
During the current season, over 460 tons of strawberries, 40 tons of peppers, 17 tons of cherry tomatoes and 1.5 million units of carnations were exported from Gaza to markets in Jordan and Europe.
"I welcome the Dutch contribution and this fruitful and commendable cooperation which serves the overall interests of all the parties, ensuring the preservation of security on the one hand and the continued improvement and stabilization of the Palestinian economy in Gaza on the other hand," concluded Major-General Dangot.