Tag Archives: UNRWA

What have we learned from Gaza?

“But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens … Continue reading

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Numbers, meet context

A new report by COGAT looks at statistics one year after the Israeli government decided to “expand the civilian policy toward the Strip” and “ease” the closure. How do the numbers look in the wider context? Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods out of Gaza, Movement of people out of Gaza | 2 Comments

De-constructing the construction boom

Early last week, the Israeli Army Spokesperson’s Unit announced “widespread construction” in the Gaza Strip after the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories approved 121 projects funded by international organizations. According to the report, following the approval, the Gaza economy was expected “to be bolstered”. Leaving aside the recurring declarations of approval of the same projects, construction is proceeding at a snail’s pace because Israel operates only a single crossing into the Gaza Strip – Kerem Shalom – through which all goods are transferred, leaving little room for building materials… Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

Facts Behind MFA Report on "Easing" of Gaza Closure

In advance of today’s meeting of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for assistance to the Palestinians, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a report detailing steps taken to improve Gaza’s economy pursuant to a June 20, 2010 Israeli Cabinet decision to “ease” the closure. The following is a summary of the main points of the MFA report and data which places the information in context. Continue reading

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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

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

Posted in econmic development, Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | Leave a comment

Who’s Afraid of a Tambourine?

Two months ago we wrote that Israel had prohibited the transfer of musical instruments into the Gaza Strip. In that post we quoted Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s response to a query submitted by Israeli parliamentarian Dov Khenin last July regarding the ban: “According to the information available, no applications to bring musical instruments into the Gaza Strip have been received for the past two years”, wrote the Deputy Defense Minister. Apparently we were mistaken – and so was the Deputy Defense Minister. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

NEWSFLASH: The Israeli MFA isn't telling the whole truth

On December 6th, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a newsletter highlighting the economic situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Though there are some miscalculations, for the most part the MFA’s data are accurate. The real problem is that the numbers appear without context. In this week’s post we provide context for the MFA’s (mostly) correct numbers. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 6 Comments

Who Has the Right to a Notebook?

This week the Israeli Foreign Ministry boasted that Israel has allowed “a large quantity of educational tools such as notebooks, backpacks, writing tools, and textbooks” into the Gaza Strip in the last month. The Foreign Ministry wrote that: “Through COGAT and the Gaza DCL, Israel makes great efforts to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip, and for this reason the recent transfer was facilitated at the request of the organization [UNRWA].” Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 4 Comments