Easing of the Closure of Gaza
06 July 2010 , 11:54
Kerem Shalom Crossing Border
Significant efforts were made to ease the plight of civilian population, while making things difficult for terror groups. Photo Archive: IDF Spokesperson IDF Spokesperson
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A new list of materials banned in Gaza was published on Monday, July 5, allowing more goods and equipment to enter Gaza while maintaining security

Israel published on Monday, July 5, a list of materials banned in Gaza, according to the government’s decision to ease the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. Among the items that are banned from entering Gaza include weapons of any kind, as well as dual-use goods which could be used to develop and produce anything that boosts military capabilities.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, significant efforts were made to ease the plight of civilian population, while making things difficult for terror groups. Thus, for the first time, building materials such as iron, cement, and cars will be permitted to enter Gaza. Everything will be done under supervision and in coordination with the Palestinian Authority and international bodies.

The list published on Monday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows three guidelines: the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Israeli law and the reality on the ground in the Gaza Strip. Under Israeli law, the following items will be prohibited, among others, chemicals used to produce explosives, optical equipment, types of metals, knives, aviation and navigation equipment, parachutes, diving gear, gliders, sea crafts, fireworks and other materials.

"We have increased the number of trucks going through Kerem Shalom to 160 a day. Efforts were made to increase traffic volume at the crossing," said Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. According to him, the Keren Shalom border crossing will be the central in the supply of goods to Gaza, and the Erez and Karni border crossings will be used for the supply of equipment.  "Traffic volume in Karni has been increased from 80 to 120 trucks a day. We expect to see some 250 trucks enter Gaza in the next few weeks, and that would increase to 350. By 2011, we expect that 400 trucks will deliver goods to Gaza daily."

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territory (COGAT) added that there are currently nine international projects planned for Gaza, in addition to five ongoing ones. "Within a few months there will be 45 projects. All of them would be carried out in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and in such a way to maintain security conditions around the Gaza Strip," he concluded.