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Officials: Israel lessens restrictions on goods shipment to West Bank
Published Saturday 01/02/2014 (updated) 03/02/2014 11:33
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NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israel has agreed to several steps meant to facilitate the shipment of goods between Israel and the West Bank in both directions at al-Jalameh terminal in the northern West Bank, according to the Nablus chamber of commerce.

Deputy chairperson of the chamber Omar Hashim told a Ma'an reporter on Saturday that the agreements were the outcome of uninterrupted efforts by the chamber through the United States Agency for International Development.

He highlighted that officials representing the Nablus chamber of commerce and USAID made the announcement Saturday during a meeting they held atthe offices of the chamber.

The agreements, he said, will help improve the import and export process, reduce financial burdens and save time and effort.

The agreements included Israel's approval that containers exported from the Palestinian territory into Israel can be loaded in the Palestinian territory.

Israel also agreed to allow containers coming from Israeli seaports directly into the West Bank through al-Jalameh terminal. Until now, these containers had been unloaded and then were forced to transfer from Israeli trucks to Palestinian trucks at an exchange area in the terminal.

Palestinian truck drivers were required to register their names at the entrance to the terminal upon arrival, then wait until the Israeli driver was available at the other side. They were also requested to do VAT-customs check and go through physical security inspection which could include strip search.

Improvements also included approval to allow two pallets of goods to travel one on top of another in flat-pack trucks. Trucks were allowed to carry only two rows of single pallets previously.

Furthermore, trucks will be allowed to carry pallets containing different kinds of goods, but on the condition that each pallet have the same kind. Previously, trucks were allowed to carry only one kind of goods in each load.

Experimental shipment of olive oil in flexi and bulk containers will be conducted as soon as possible.

Israel maintains a complex system of regulation and control over imports and exports into the West Bank, creating difficulties for Palestinian merchants.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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1 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
01/02/2014 21:19
How about facilitating the shipment of goods between Gaza and the West Bank ? It is at the moment non-existant, although Israeli products are abundantly available in grocery shops and markets in Palestine. In particular, the Gazan growers of strawberries would like to see their produce sold in the West Bank. Israel refuses to permit Gazans to export their strawberries to the West Bank, where they would cost three times less than Israeli strawberries. it's all about profit.

2 ) shirley / australia
02/02/2014 03:06
how about the gutless pa /us stooge cancelling the paris protocol totally illegal sickening the deaf mute pa and its refusal to join un bodies and challenge us and eu and the stooge ban ki moon the pa have trapped pals get rid opf the gutless leadership you might get somewhere yasser arafat had to sugn oslo trapped unable to get enough support to join un body to move forwards not the case with pa now and can cancel paris protocol totally illegal and should not have signed and can join un bodies

3 ) shirley / australia
02/02/2014 03:23
a move to just enforce occupation with the complicit pa bandaids to suppress any dissent from thew pa of quiet hand over they do nothing but allow isreal to control everything for afew crumbs the paris agreement is illegal taxing pals is illegal the destruction of pal economy is illegal and resources control this greement totally is skewed in isreals favortrade for the sake of the charade of the pa seeming to do something but in reality allowing death of freedom

4 ) Charlie A / Sweden/Gaza
02/02/2014 07:23
#1, Carol, just one thing. Since Gaza is a part of Palestine just as WB and East Jerusalem, it can?t be an export when you ship (if you could) products from Gaza to WB. Don?t use the lovers of the occupations terminology. But I like your comment, and it?s something that WTO should take a close look at.

5 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
02/02/2014 13:45
No 4 : Your comment is appreciated. I refer you to 2 articles I translated for my blog (www.carol.blog.tdg.ch) which discuss "exports" to the West Bank from Gaza. :
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/01/gazas-economy-shattered-by-israeli-siege/
and http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=668409
My terminology is indeed limited. Could you perhaps suggest another word ?
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