COGAT reports an increase in agriculture goods exported from the Gaza Strip to foreign markets around the world, according to data from the first half of 2012
Recent report published by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) summarizes data from the first half of 2012 shows a decrease in unemployment rates in the Gaza Strip and an increase in agricultural export from the region.
The data shows efforts by Israel to cooperate with foreign government and national organizations to advance the Palestinian economy and commerce in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. This can be seen also in the increased activity of land crossings in both regions.
During the first quarter of the year, daily salaries of Palestinians increased by approximately 5.45% and unemployment rates decreased by about 0.5%. These trends continue, as a higher percentage of the population join the workforce.
In terms of energy resources: Since the beginning of 2011 the Hamas terrorist organization through the Palestinian Authority chose to discontinue purchase of fuels from Israel, while fuel is being illegally smuggled from Egypt via tunnels. As a result of the unorganized transfer of fuels by Hamas, the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip continues to expand.
Coordinated by COGAT and approved by the Israeli government, transfer of fuel donated by the Qatar government in Egypt, via Israel, to the Gaza Strip began early last month, responding to a request by the Egyptian government to transfer approximately 30 million liters of diesel fuel (10-15 containers per day). Additionally, the Kerem Shalom crossing will be especially open to enable transfer of fuels to Gaza.
Agricultural export from the Gaza Strip to foreign markets increased by 86% this past season. In addition to the export of flowers from Gaza, 708 tons of agricultural products were exported in comparison to 308 tons exported last year.
Additionally furniture and textile products were exported abroad, including 4,000 sweaters exported to England and 45 furniture units sent to a furniture exhibition in Jordan. Marketing of 720 tons of dates were exported from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria in addition to 140 tons marketed earlier this year.
The Kerem Shalom crossing continues to operate transferring goods from Israel to the Gaza Strip, despite terrorist rocket fire from the region targeting Israeli civilian communities. Over the past year, over 725 tons of goods and food products were transferred as well as 18 thousand tons of gas and 15 million liters of diesel fuel.
The Judea and Samaria economy continues to improve as well, including a recently signed contract with the Dutch government regarding the donation of a security scanning system at the Allenby Bridge crossing in order to improve export capabilities in the region. Export of goods to foreign markets increased by approximately 30% thanks to the new device, to be installed at the Kerem Shalom crossing as well, improving commerce between the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, Jordan and then to foreign markets around the world.