On Monday, at 10:30 am, 36 Palestinians arrived at the Erez crossing, including 18 sick children receiving medical care at Ichilov Hospital, accompanied by their parents. The children and their parents traveled to the resort - "The Jordan Village". From there they were going to visit historic sites and varied attractions. It is important to note that the Israeli Ministry of Welfare financed partly their stay at the resort village.
About an hour and a half later, at 12:30 an additional group of 19 music lovers from the music school in Gaza crossed the Erez crossing, accompanied by their music school teachers in order to participate in music classes in Israel. This music camp will go on for eight days, and music students from schools in Israel will also participate in this activity. At around 13:30 another group of 19 disabled athletes from Gaza arrived in order to participate in various sports activities in Israel and Judea and Samaria.
The crossing of those three groups from Gaza to the territory of the state of Israel was made possible thanks to the coordination between Israeli officers and soldiers of the DCO, the representatives of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the land crossings Authority at the Ministry of Defense.
In addition to those activities an Israeli Palestinian meeting was held on improving the process of frozen meat imports from Israel into Gaza. The meeting, headed by the Coordinator of Agriculture at the DCO- Gaza, Mr. Uri Madar, was attended by 12 Israeli and Palestinians industrials: cattle dealers, customs agents and owners of cooling plants. During the meeting that lasted for an hour and a half, improvements were suggested for the marketing of Israeli cattle in Gaza.
"The cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and the agriculture coordinator is excellent. We are in touch with each team 24 h/day" said the Coordinator of Agriculture in Gaza, Mr. Hani Ashkontana. "We want to thank the Coordinator of Agriculture, Mr. Uri Madar, who has agreed to meet us in order to improve the process of import and shorten the waiting time at Kerem Shalom," he added.
Gaza DCO extensive activity does not end only at the Erez crossing and the DCO headquarter next to the crossing; at the same time the children crossed from Gaza into Israel and the agricultural meeting was taking place, a Gaza textile factory exported sweaters from the Gaza Strip via Israel to England. Israel continues to provide gas and fuel to Gaza on a regular basis. During the 6 first months of 2012 Israel provided the Gaza Strip with 15,108,000 liters of diesel and gas with 401 tankers, which are part of the Qatar donation coming from Egypt through the Nitzana crossing and from there on Israeli tankers to the Kerem Shalom crossing.
In addition, Israel opened the Sufa crossing today (03.07.2012) despite the security risks involved, for the transfer of 70 thousand tons of aggregates for projects in the Gaza Strip funded by the international community.