EU Contributes Funds to Upgrade Crossing into Gaza (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 03/21/12)
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The European Union has contributed 13 million euros - $17.2 million -
to upgrade the crossing through which goods enter Gaza, the Bethlehem-
based Ma’an news agency reported on Tuesday.
The report said that a further 22 million euros, or $29.1 million, of
EU funds will be used to build a medium scale wastewater treatment
plant in the Tubas area.
EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton was quoted in the report as
having said the EU is “fully aware of the scarcity of water resources
in the occupied Palestinian territory” and as such has “identified
water as one of the focal sectors of its assistance.”
Ashton added, “The upgrading of the Kerem Shalom crossing point
allows for an increased movement of goods in and out of the Gaza
According to the Ma’an report, work on the crossing under the EU
project, which will be conducted by the PA in coordination with
Israel, will build and expand infrastructure including loading and
inspection areas and warehouses, as well as providing IT equipment.
The report said Ashton signed the two agreements with PA Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad in Brussels on Monday, ahead of a meeting of
donors to the PA.
Fayyad recently warned that his government would reduce expenses if
donor countries fail to pay aid they pledged to the PA.
Fayyad said last weekend that the PA would face a serious financial
situation if funding does not arrive as promised.
Despite the claims by the Hamas-run government in Gaza of a
humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s blockade on the coastal
enclave, Israel allows various goods to enter Gaza and also allows
for the exporting of agricultural products, such as strawberries and
carnations, from Gaza to Europe, as part of an extensive project
financed by the Dutch government.
Despite the recent rocket barrage from Gaza, Israel kept open the
Erez Crossing for passengers and employees of international
organizations operating in Gaza. Kerem Shalom was open for the
delivery of 200 truckloads to Gaza residents.
Israel often helps the residents of the coastal enclave. This
assistance includes medical care, and more than once Israeli doctors
have been able to save the lives of Gazan children.
Meanwhile, the PA is embarking on a new economic tactic to challenge
Israeli authority over Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria, commonly
known as “Area C” and which includes most of the land area in Judea
The PA told the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels last week that
it is asking donors to earmark money for development in Area C.
Palestinians "cannot simply wait for the conclusion of peace
negotiations to reverse this de-development and destruction of
livelihoods by the Israeli occupation," a report in Ma’an said,
referring to Israeli authority over the land restored to Israel in
the Six-Day War in 1967. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 03/21/12)
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