My enemy, my partner

07.10.2011                      09.Tischrei. 5772                      Erew Jom Kippur

Feature:

My enemy, my partner

Cooperation between Israel and Hamas exists on several fronts, including at the Kerem Shalom terminal, where goods pass in and out of Gaza. And the more the PA challenges Israel, the more Hamas makes nice.

The line of trucks at the entry to Kerem Shalom, the southern crossing point into the Gaza Strip, is more than a kilometer long. The trucks, mostly from Israel and some from the West Bank, carry a variety of goodies: equipment from the German company Siemens for Gaza's power station, boxes of soft drinks, sacks of cement. North of the crossing point, on the Israeli side, renovation work to expand the terminal continues energetically, at an estimated cost of some NIS 100 million.
Brig. Gen. (res. ) Kamil Abu-Rokon, who heads the Defense Ministry authority in charge of border crossings, says that on an average day 280 trucks pass through Kerem Shalom. That number is comparable to the number that passed through the Karni checkpoint before Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Should the renovation work finish on schedule, by December the Kerem Shalom area should be five times larger than it is at present, and it should be able to process twice as many trucks as it does today, though much will depend on the Strip's ability to absorb exports from Israel. With regard to a portion of the goods, demand in Gaza is relatively small because similar products are smuggled in at much lower cost via tunnels from the Sinai Peninsula….