The Gaza Strip: Economic Status Update - January 2013
Since 2010, 235 internationally sponsored projects have been approved for the benefit of the civilian population in Gaza.
(Communicated by the Bureau for Middle Eastern Economic Affairs, MFA)
Movement of goods:
• Israel permitted the entry of 60 trucks and buses into the Gaza Strip in December 2012, and the entry of 20 trucks of aggregates (building material) daily for the private construction sector. The Palestinian Authority was informed. This was done against the backdrop of the calm existing in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing dialogue with Egypt since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. As long as the calm and the dialogue continue and Israeli interests, first and foremost security, are upheld, Israel will continue to consider additional measures.
• In January 2013, 4,991 trucks carrying 143,277 tons of goods were imported to Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Movement of people:
• Business people continue to exit the Gaza Strip (120 permits are given daily, but not all are used).
• Patients and their escorts continue to leave Gaza for medical treatment in Israel and elsewhere.
• In January 2013 a total of 5,219 Palestinians crossed to Israel via Erez Terminal.
• Agricultural products continue to be exported from the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom terminal. These products include strawberries, flowers, bell peppers, tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and herbs.
• Large plastic crates continue to be shipped via Kerem Shalom. The crates are used for bulk packaging of fruits and vegetables, which significantly reduces costs for the merchants on both ends (each crate costs approximately NIS 1000 - $268).
• In 2012 Gaza companies exported several shipments of furniture to buyers in Jordan and Egypt, and once to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) with furniture for PA schools. There were also shipments of date snacks from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria, as part of the World Food Programme (WFP).
• Kerem Shalom is the only crossing used for the movement of goods from Israel to the Gaza Strip. It has a capacity of 450 trucks a day, although only 250 to 320 trucks actually pass through every day. It has the necessary infrastructure for the transfer of goods, aggregates and other construction materials, cooking gas, and a pipeline for the transfer of fuel.
• Diesel fuel donated by Qatar for the Gaza power station is transported in overland convoys via Egypt to Nitzana, where it is transferred “back-to-back” to Israeli containers, and from there via the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip. The movement of the convoys began in June 2012 and continued steadily until the August attack on the Sinai border, when shipment was temporarily suspended by the Egyptians. The convoys were resumed on 23 October 2012 and continue intermittently. Since Qatar resumed shipment and up till 23 January 2013, 331 Israeli tankers carrying 10.9 million liters of fuel have been transferred to Gaza.
• In January 2013, work was completed on refurbishing and upgrading the Grizim electrical line. Israel supplies most of the electricity used by the residents of the Gaza Strip. The Grizim line supplies 12.5 MW of electricity, ten percent of the total amount of electricity supplied by Israel to Gaza every day. The upgrade of Grizim will provide a more stable supply of electricity for some 70,000 inhabitants in the Gaza Strip's northern region. The work was conducted in coordination with the IDF and the Israeli Electric Corporation.
• Construction materials designated for various infrastructure projects sponsored by the international community continue to enter the Gaza Strip.
• Since 2010, 235 internationally sponsored projects have been approved for the benefit of the civilian population in Gaza. Of those, 88 projects have been completed and 83 are currently being implemented.