Report No. 87

Implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access

and Update on Gaza Crossings

(4-17 March 2009)

The United Nations is submitting the 87th bi-weekly report on the implementation of the 15 November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA)1, covering the period 04 – 17 March 2009 (Annex)2. In light of the closure of Gaza, this report also monitors movement and access through other crossings not included in the AMA.

Summary:

AMA Benchmarks:

Rafah crossing has remained closed for the movement of people for 647 working days. It was last open for public use on 09 June 2007. However, the crossing was partially open on an exceptional basis for passengers on all days during the reporting period, allowing 688 Palestinians including many medical cases to cross out, and 870 to cross in, compared to 1,719 departures and 995 arrivals in the previous reporting period. 105 truckloads of humanitarian relief items were allowed entry to Gaza through Rafah Crossing compared to zero in the previous reporting period. The crossing was partially open on three days (7,8,9 March) for this inflow.

Karni crossing has remained closed since 12 June 2007 for the movement of goods in and out of Gaza.  The conveyor belt/chute for cereals and animal feed was open on six days (04,08,09,11,16 and 17 March), the same as in the previous reporting period. A total of 334 truckloads of cereals and animal feed, entered Gaza, via the conveyor belt, compared to 270 in the previous reporting period. Neither gravel nor bulk cement were allowed entry during this period. Gravel and bulk cement were last allowed into Gaza on 26 and 29 Oct 08 respectively.

Erez crossing has remained closed for more than three years since 12 March 2006 for workers, and more than a year, since 12 June 2007, for all other Palestinians, except for a limited number of Palestinian senior traders, aid workers and medical cases who have been granted special permits. For these persons, Erez crossing was partially open on 12 out of the 14 scheduled days. Almost no traders were allowed out during the reporting period, and an average of 11 medical cases per day were allowed through.

Obstacles to movement in the West Bank has increased from 630 reported during the previous reporting period to 632. Overall, the figure of 630 represents an increase of 254 obstacles (68.1%) over the baseline figure (376) of August 2005.

Convoys between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank:

Truck convoys – Implementation now 38 months overdue (since mid-January 2006).
Bus convoys – Implementation now 39 months overdue (since mid-December 2005).

Ports:

Seaport – Awaiting GoI assurance of non-interference with the seaport operation.
Airport – Awaiting commencement of discussions since November 2005.

Non-AMA Crossings:

Sufa crossing was not open during the whole reporting period. It was last open on 12 Sept 08. In mid March 09, Israel announced that Sufa crossing is no longer a crossing point between Gaza and Israel.
Kerem Shalom crossing was open on 12 days compared to 11 days during the previous reporting period. A total of 1,160 truckloads of goods including 371 for humanitarian aid agencies were allowed in compared to 991 reported during the previous reporting period. Four truckloads of carnations were allowed out (exported) on 05, 09, 12 and 16 March.
Nahal Oz fuel pipelines was partially opened on all 10 scheduled days compared to eight days reported during the previous reporting period. In mid March Israel announced that the working days of Nahal Oz fuel pipe line have been reduced to five days per week (Sunday – Thursday). No petrol or diesel for private/commercial use was allowed entry during this reporting period. 1,230 tonnes of cooking gas and 4,369,050 litres of industrial gas for the power plant were allowed in, compared to 1,107 tonnes and 4,417,650 litres respectively, in the previous reporting period.
Of note: Overall, 1,599 truckloads, including 477 truckloads from humanitarian agencies were allowed entry to Gaza during this period, compared to 1,261 truckloads allowed in during the previous reporting period.

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1 The United Nations, through the OCHA oPt office, has assumed reporting responsibilities for reporting on the implementation of the AMA since April 2006.

2 The AMA was negotiated by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to promote peaceful economic development and improve the humanitarian situation on the ground. It represents the commitments of both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to facilitate access and movement into/out and throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.