Italian Foreign Minister Visited Gaza Coordination and Liaison (DCL GAZA)

On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, Italy`s Foreign Minister, Mr. Franco Frattini visited the offices of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison accompanied by he Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Eitan Dangot, commander of the District Coordination and Liaison, Colonel Moshe Levy and Israel`s ambassador to Italy, Mr. Gideon Meir.
Date: 24.11.10    

During the visit, CCTV screens transmitted a live broadcast directly from the Kerem Shalom Crossing; thereby enabling the Italian Foreign Minister to view the manner in which goods are transferred from Israel to Gaza. Later, Maj. General Dangot briefed the Italian Foreign Minister concerning the steps Israel has taken in the expansion of its civilian policies towards the Gaza Strip, including expansion of goods transferred through the Kerem Shalom and Karni Crossings and noted that the daily volume of trucking activity at the Kerem Shalom Crossing stood at approximately 100 trucks per day prior to the initiation of the expansion policy and today this has increased to approximately 250 trucks per day.

The general added that the volume at Kerem Shalom is over the coming month expected to increase to a rate of approximately 300 trucks per day and by Q1/2011, it is expected that this volume will reach approximately 400 trucks per day. Maj. Gen Dangot also noted that Israel intends to enable the exporting of goods from the Gaza Strip towards the end of Q2/2011, however further added and emphasized that the exporting of goods from the Gaza Strip involved specific security and logistical arrangements at the Kerem Shalom Crossing. To accomplish this, the general noted that Israel has already begun improving and developing the crossing's infrastructure in order to expand its volume capacity. Furthermore, Major General Dangot also made note of the fact that the exporting of flowers and strawberries from the Gaza Strip would begin on Thursday November 25, 2010.

General Dangot emphasized the significance of the international community's activities in the region and added that Israel sees tremendous importance in the community's activities. General Dangot also provided the Italian Foreign Minister with a detailed overview of the manner in which Gaza Strip projects, under international funding and supervision are promoted and noted that Israel has until now 78 projects, with an emphasis on projects in the fields of education, infrastructures, health and housing. The general also noted that Israel does not determine which projects will be implemented and in which fields, the international community coordinates these activities opposite the Palestinian Authority and Israel approves them subject to security considerations. General Dangot surveyed for the Italian FM the relationships and contacts with the Palestinians, with an emphasis on the Salam Fayyad government, and the demand made by the Palestinian Authority to enhance its hold on the activity at the Gaza crossings.