More than 140,000 tons of goods were imported into the Gaza Strip via the Israeli crossing with the coastal enclave during January alone, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. A total of 4,991 trucks carried those shipments into Gaza, just one month after Israel approved the transfer of 20 trucks per day of building materials for the private sector. In December, 60 trucks and busses were also allowed into Gaza.
The Israeli statement said the private sector building supplies and trucks were permitted into Gaza “against the backdrop of the calm existing in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing dialogue with Egypt since the end” of the last Gaza-Israel conflict.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry hinted there is potential for the Gaza import situation to continue to improve. “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.”
However, on Tuesday a rocket was fired from Gaza and hit the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. The feed noted that the only crossing for goods between Israel and Gaza—Kerem Shalom—was closed by Israel due to the security threat.
The IDF Tweet said that the Erez Crossing remained open for “medical & humanitarian purposes.”
In January, refurbishment and upgrade work on an electrical line between Israel and Gaza was also completed. The majority of electricity used by Gaza residents comes from Israel, with the refurbished “Grizim” line providing 10 percent of that Israel-supplied electricity.
“The upgrade of Grizim will provide a more stable supply of electricity for some 70,000 inhabitants in the Gaza Strip’s northern region,” said the Israeli Foreign Minister statement.
The Israeli statement concluded by pointing out that 235 internationally-sponsored projects for Gaza have been approved since 2010, 88 of which have been completed. Another 83 are currently in progress.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 26, 2013)