The year 2010 saw substantial developments in the Palestinian arena. The civilian policy towards the Gaza Strip was expanded in order to improve the residents' quality of life. This was done despite on-going terror attacks conducted by Hamas, which seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. In Judea and Samaria, the trend of economic growth and development continued as a result of increased freedom of movement, eased restrictions, on-going coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and a stable security environment.
This booklet was written in order to highlight key points in the implementation of Israel's civilian policy in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Civil Coordination Department
Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories
Main Developments in Judea & Samaria
Significant improvement in the Palestinian residents' quality of life in Judea and Samaria continued and broadened in 2010.
Freedom of Movement: There is free movement between Jenin in the north and Hebron in the south and only 16 checkpoints are in operation, most of them normally open. Infrastructure was improved at the crossings in order to ease the movement of local residents. There was a 42% increase in the number of permits issued for entry into Israel.
Economy: The positive trend of economic growth in Judea and Samaria continued, and the GDP rose by 8% in 2010. Unemployment declined by 1% in 2010. There was a 5.4% increase in the number of Palestinians employed by Israeli employers compared to 2009. During 2010, 2.43 million tourists visited Judea and Samaria, a 49% rise compared to 2009.
Projects: There was progress in the implementation of economic and infrastructure projects for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. The agreement to allot frequencies to the Wataniya Company was implemented, improving the quality of communication in the PA. There was a 10% rise in the number of trucks crossing at back-to-back crossings in 2010, compared to 2009. Accelerated development throughout Judea and Samaria was expressed through a dramatic increase in the construction of new neighborhoods, malls, cinemas, and parks. Other economic indicators reinforce the positive growth trend - there was a rise in the extent of fuel and cement purchased and in the importation of vehicles.
Security Coordination: Security coordination between Israel and the PA was broadened and the activities of the Palestinian security organizations in Judea and Samaria were expanded, leading to improved overall security and to an improved sense of security among Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.
Main Developments in the Gaza Strip
In 2010 attempts to carry out terror attacks against Israeli civilians continued, as did the firing of rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip, controlled by a terror organization. Over 235 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli targets:
The land crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip operated normally throughout the year:
- Erez Crossing, operated for the movement of people six days a week- in 2010 there was a 16% rise in the number of people exiting the Gaza Strip to Israel and a 70% rise in the number of medical patients and accompanying individuals who exited the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in Israel, Judea and Samaria, or abroad.
- Kerem Shalom Crossing, the main crossing for the transfer of goods into the Gaza Strip, operated five days a week, and there was a 34% rise in the number of truckloads transferred init the Gaza Strip.
- The Karni Conveyor, operated for the transfer for grains and aggregates two days a week, and there was a 13% rise in the number of truckloads transferred through it to the Gaza Strip.
During 2010 the Government of Israel resolved to expand the civil policy toward the Gaza Strip in four central areas:
- Expansion of activity at the land crossings: Since the government's decision there has been a 69% rise in the number of truckloads transferred to the Gaza Strip.
- Expansion of the range of goods transferred to the Gaza Strip: A list of items was published whose entry into the Gaza Strip will be permitted on a case by case basis.
- Promoting internationally funded projects: During 2010, 101 internationally funded projects were approved, 87 of which received approval following the government's decision. Gradual expansion of export from the Gaza Strip - agricultural exports from the Gaza Strip to European markets were expanded
Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs