Palestinian exports of scrap iron from Gaza are slated to double now that a new iron-shredding machine, the second of its kind, has been placed at the Kerem Shalom crossing.
“Following work with many offices on both the Palestinian side and the Israeli side, the new iron-shredding machine has begun operating,” said the head of Israel’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration’s Economic Department Aviv Hindi.
“This addition will make possible a doubling of iron scrap exports from the Gaza Strip, will give employment to many Gazan residents, and will provide for the economic welfare of many families,” he said.
“It is all part of a civilian policy that we have recently been advancing, on the understanding that civil stability leads to stable security.”
Each machine has a monthly output of some 6,000 tons of iron, allowing for a monthly profit of more than NIS 2.5 million per machine.
It’s part of a number of steps to ease Gaza restrictions taken by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, headed by Maj.-Gen. Rassan Alian.
Earlier this month COGAT inaugurated a new web comic to facilitate the transportation of goods at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main commercial passageway between Gaza and Israel. Separately, there is a pedestrian crossing at Erez and another crossing between Egypt and Gaza at Rafah. The new center was designed to streamline the flow of goods and reduce bureaucracy, for importers and entrepreneurs, according to COGAT.
Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, a left-wing NGO that has called on Israel to lift all it’s border restrictions on Gaza, said that in February COGAT “informally removed steel sheets and white cement” from the banned dual-use list so that the items could now enter the Palestinian enclave.