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Safe Passage Agreement Signed

(October 5, 1999)

In accordance with the Interim Agreement, the Wye River Memorandum, and the Sharm al-Sheikh Memorandum, Palestinian residents of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, as well as foreign visitors to these areas, will be allowed to travel between the above areas within the framework of the "safe passage."

The traffic of individuals along the southern axis of the safe passage will be permitted via the following route: Erez Crossing, Ashkelon Junction, Plugot Junction, Beit Guvrin Junction, and Tarkumiyeh. Residents will be allowed to travel in private vehicles or Palestinian public transportation.

The passage of goods will be enabled via the following route: Karni Crossing, Sa’ad Junction, Gavim Junction, Yad Mordechai Junction, Ashkelon Junction, Plugot Junction, Beit Guvrin Junction, Tarkumiyeh.

The passage will operate between 07:00-17:00, with the intention that the passage be closed during the hours that laborers leave for work in Israel 90 minutes prior to the closure of the passage, private vehicles, taxis and buses will not be permitted to use the route.

The passage will not operate on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Yom Kippur. The two sides will jointly determine special procedures for the operation of the passage on other days of special significance ? i.e. reduced activity on Israeli holidays, and expanded activity on Muslim holidays.

The process preceding travel via the safe passage will be as follows:

1. Residents wishing to travel via the safe passage will apply to the Palestinian Authority;

2. Once the applications are examined by the Palestinian Authority, a list of applicants will be transferred to Israel. A list of approved applicants will be returned to the Palestinian Authority within two working days;

3. Residents wishing to use their private vehicles on the safe passage route will attach their driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance policy to their applications. Approved applications will be examined by Israel and returned to the Palestinian Authority within five working days ? together with vehicular passage documents valid for a period of three months, subject to the terms of the vehicle’s registration;

4. Once their applications are approved, residents will enter the safe passage equipped with magnetic cards.

Procedures for travel via the safe passage will be as follows:

1. The Palestinian Authority will regulate the traffic of residents to the Israeli crossing in conjunction with Israel, with the intention of preventing traffic problems along the safe passage.

2. Upon entering the passage terminal, residents will identify themselves by way of their identification cards, magnetic cards and other accompanying documentation.

3. Vehicles will be directed to examination lanes.

4. After examination, residents will be given personal permits for travel along the safe passage, as well as vehicular permits to be affixed to the front windshield of the vehicle.

5. Those prevented from entering Israel will approach the passage from the Palestinian regulating station, where they will undergo a security check and depart for the safe passage on a bus escorted by police. At their destination, these passengers will be re-checked.

Procedures governing the course of travel via the safe passage:

1. The allotted time for the passage of private vehicles between checkpoints is 90 minutes.

2. The allotted time for the passage of buses between checkpoints is two hours.

3. Those whose travel times exceed the allotted time will be detained for an investigation of the circumstances which caused the delay and, when necessary, the Israel Police will be authorized to take measures against those in question. Israel will notify the Palestinian Authority in each such instance.

4. In accordance with the Interim Agreement, all those using the safe passage route will be subject to the laws of the State of Israel, and law enforcement will remain the responsibility of the Israel Police.

Text of Protocol Concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Source: Israeli Government Press Office, Map from AIPAC