COGAT Projects Economic Upswing in Gaza

By Hamodia Staff

Palestinian workers wait to enter Israel at the Erez crossing in Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Israel’s carrot-and-stick policy in Gaza switched back to the carrot while the ceasefire after three days of fighting with Palestinian Islamic Jihad entered its second week.

Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Sunday emphasized the economic upswing in Gaza, thanks largely to Israel.

Exports from Gaza to Yehuda and Shomron were projected to soar by 27 percent this year, continuing a trend. In 2020, the total number of trucks exporting goods from Gaza  was 3,397; in 2021 it was 4,003; and by the end of this year it is expected to reach 5,117, according to their estimates.

Exports from Gaza to Israel were also expected to rise by an unprecedented 93.8%, according to COGAT. In 2020, some 1,181 trucks carrying exports entered Israel from Gaza; 2,588 in 2021; and this year the number is expected to reach 5,016.

Crossings between Gaza and Israel increased by 311% percent this year. In 2020, some 122,400 crossing were recorded; in 2021 the number rose to 163,500; and this year the number shot up to 672,000, according to the data.

Currently, about 14,000 Gaza residents hold work permits allowing them to enter Israel. The Defense Ministry has agreed to eventually raise the number of permits to 20,000, the most ever from the Hamas-ruled enclave. In mid-2021, only 7,000 Palestinians from Gaza had permits to work or trade in Israel.

“The policy consists of a military effort to thwart military buildup, and critically striking at any attempt to harm the security of Israel, alongside a proactive civilian policy aimed at the general public,” Alian said.

He added that after last week’s fighting, Israel “returned to the implementation of the civil policy towards the Gaza Strip with limitations on the issue of reconstruction, until there is progress with the missing and captured.”

Israel has said it is preventing large-scale reconstruction of Gaza after last year’s 11-day war with Hamas unless the latter returns detained civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the remains of IDF troops Hadar Goldin Hy”d and Oron Shaul Hy”d who were killed in a war in Gaza in 2014.

Hamas has rejected the condition.

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