PM meets Gaza private sector delegation
Published Tuesday 08/10/2013 (updated) 08/10/2013 01:37
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Interim prime minister Rami Hamdallah met Monday in his office in Ramallah with a delegation of businessmen from the Gaza Strip.
“Establishment of a Palestinian state can’t be completed without the Gaza Strip, and now it is time to finalize reconciliation and resume unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” Hamdallah told his guests.
Hamdallah added that he would be ready to create a joint committee of Palestinian officials and the private sector to be tasked with addressing all issues related to Gaza.
The Palestinian government, added Hamdallah, is ready to ship any goods and requirements to the Gaza Strip and to continue to ship medicines. However, pressure must be exerted on the Israeli government to make this process easier. He added that previously signed agreements to ship diesel for industrial use to run Gaza’s power plant are still in effect.
Hamdallah promised that in his first visit to Egypt, he would address the Rafah crossing issue to secure a solution for Gaza passengers and make travel arrangements easier. He also promised to work out arrangements to increase exports from the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip’s problems will be discussed thoroughly Tuesday at the Palestinian cabinet meeting in Ramallah, added Hamdallah.
For his part, head of the Gazan delegation Maamoon Abu Shahla updated Hamdallah on the main problems private sector faces in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Shahla highlighted that the number of cargo trucks entering Gaza was insufficient especially after smuggling tunnels have been destroyed.
As a result, he added, prices went up by 20-30 percent. In addition, domestic-use gas allowed into Gaza barely sufficed for 50 percent of the needs.
Abu Shahla chairs a council in charge of coordination for private sector businesses in Gaza.