160,000 Trucks Entered Gaza in 2017, Authority Says

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian truck loaded with supplies seen at the Kerem Shalom crossing. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

No fewer than 160,000 trucks filled with supplies entered Gaza in 2017, and at the checkpoints between Israel and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron, the Borders Authority said Wednesday, in its year-end summation of activity in Gaza. Most of the cargo into Gaza came in through the Kerem Shalom crossing, with a record-setting 1,000 trucks entering Gaza one day last April.

The items sent into Gaza include food products, clothing, medicine, approved machinery, and other industrial and personal items. With that, the Authority said, it foiled hundreds of attempts to smuggle illegal items into Gaza. Among the confiscated items were metal and aluminum pipes, which could be used for making pipe bombs, as well as chemicals and material that could be used to manufacture bombs. Other banned items that Gaza smugglers attempted to bring in were military uniforms and equipment, stolen archaeological items, drugs and other illicit contraband.

At checkpoints in Yehudah and Shomron, Authority officials recorded some 15 million entries of Palestinians, the most ever and 2 million more than in 2016. An average of 60,000 Palestinians entered Israel on a daily basis for work, medical care, or other purposes.

Kamil Abu-Rukin, director of the Authority, said that the organization “operates ceaselessly to prevent terrorists from using bases in Yehudah, Shomron and Gaza to carry out attacks against Israelis. At the same time, we work to maintain a normative situation in which ordinary Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron will be able to conduct their lives in a secure manner, ensuring that they are able to work and receive medical care as needed.”