Not making the mark in economic recovery

In late July, the Tawjihi post-high school exam results were announced to the dread or delight of Gaza’s 36,594 exiting high school seniors. Over the summer vacation, these youngsters are making plans for their future like young people elsewhere. Will they attend one of Gaza’s five universities, which don’t offer badly needed degrees in environmental science, medical engineering, veterinary medicine and occupational therapy? Or will they seek to travel abroad, since travel to West Bank universities remains banned? Continue reading

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Not your average trip to the mall

The media last week heralded the opening of the first shopping mall in Gaza and immediately the blogosphere was atwitter. Some saw it as proof of the easing of the closure, which Israel had promised, and others saw it as a sign that there is no crisis in Gaza. Indeed, a two-story building converted into an air-conditioned shopping mall (restrictions on the transfer of construction… Continue reading

Posted in econmic development, Movement of goods out of Gaza | 3 Comments

What happens after you allow cocoa into Gaza?

when you zoom out from the numbers and percentages, it turns out that even though Israel allowed the Palestinian Coordination Committee (the body in charge of coordinating and transferring requests from private sector merchants to the Israeli side, not including the agricultural sector) to include raw materials in its daily lists, there is still a long way to go until those materials actually reach Gaza. Since an Israeli permit is subject to the capacity constraints of the crossings, and since Israel has permitted only one of the crossings (Kerem Shalom) to be fully operational, most requests by merchants for raw materials are not even submitted. Last week, for example…. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality

As discussion of “easing” the closure of Gaza continues, restrictions on movement between Gaza and the West Bank remain tighter than ever. Last week, the Defense Ministry announced that the “easing” would in no way expand criteria for travel of people between Gaza and the… Continue reading

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A Significant Boost or a Slight Modification?

An article in yesterday’s Haaretz cites Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Brig. Gen. Eitan Dangot’s having told the Palestinian Authority that Israel will facilitate an increase the number of trucks entering Gaza by 50%. Dangot claims that in the near future, Israel will allow 150 trucks per day via Kerem Shalom and the equivalent of 120 trucks per day of aggregates via the conveyer belt at Karni, for a total of 270 trucks per… Continue reading

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Commitments Yet Unfulfilled

On Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet issued an encouraging statement promising to remove many of the restrictions on civilian goods entering Gaza, including those needed for economic activity. What has changed on the ground since the announcement and more generally, since international pressure mounted on Israel in the wake of the May 31 flotilla incident?… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Who Turned Out the Lights in Gaza?

For the past several months, Gaza Gateway has reported on the declining amounts of industrial diesel, necessary for electricity generation, entering Gaza. These amounts fall far below the needs of Gaza residents and are even lower than the “minimal amount” set by Israel before the High Court, as part of its policy of supply restrictions to Gaza. Last week, for example, the power station received just 1,200,000 liters of diesel – 35% of what is needed for… Continue reading

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Gaza in Context: A Closer Look at the MFA's Numbers on Humanitarian Activity

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released its latest update, claiming to be actively contributing to the humanitarian needs and even economic development of the Gaza Strip. Contrast the MFA report with UN agency OCHA’s critical report on limitations to access in the Palestinian territory released on May 27, 2010. We wrote last week about the seeming paradox between a policy whose stated goals are to reduce civilians to the minimum “essential for survival” (but not to fall below it) in order to Continue reading

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A Crisis of Proportions

One of the main questions that’s been floating around (no pun intended) in relation to this week’s events is whether there is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip or not. Is Israel letting in enough stuff? Despite several years of attempts, including a Freedom… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Gourmet Flotilla to Gaza

At a time when Israel’s security officials should probably be focused on this week’s extensive home front security drill, it seems that that most of their attention is being paid to the flotilla of ships on its way to the Gaza Strip, laden with humanitarian supplies. Frantic consultations between officials and the prime minister’s top military chiefs of staff have taken place, an urgent meeting of a forum of senior government… Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 5 Comments