EU to develop Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel & Gaza Strip by 2021 end: Spokesperson

A European Union (EU) official on October 4 announced that the development of Kerem Shalom will take place before the end of 2021. Kerem Shalom is a crucial commercial crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel. As per Xinhua report, an EU spokesperson in the Palestinian territories, Shadi Othman told the news agency that up revamping of the commercial croissant is included in the package of development projects that will be approved for Palestine.  Othman was quoted as saying, “The plans for the development project of the commercial crossing of Kerem Shalom in southern Gaza Strip are in place, but the budget and the nature of the work are not yet clear.” The EU spokesperson made the remarks while responding to an Israeli report which stated that the 27-nation-bloc devoted 6 million euros to develop Kerem Shalom crossing to meet the trading needs in Gaza Strip. 

The Israeli report stated that the new project would lead to the expansion of the truck lane, renovation of the infrastructure, and installation of advanced electronic scanning systems. It has also stated that the aim of developing Kerem Shalom is to keep the unloading of the trucks following the conditions on the Israeli side.  As per Xinhua, the EU spokesperson said that the bloc has funded the projects in Palestinian territories to support the economy and other sectors such as water, infrastructure, and the Gaza Strip’s community.

Additionally, on October 3, the 27-nation-bloc said in a statement that the European Union officials visited the Gaza Strip and met with Palestinian business people. According to the EU statement, the officials have called on Israel to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007. Israeli authorities are also urged by the bloc to allow free commercial movement for the population. 

EU and UNRWA support Palestine refugees

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has contributed EUR 5 million for humanitarian aid and early recovery in the Gaza Strip to back the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  In the official statement on September 30, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic said, “Since the May escalation of conflict, humanitarian needs are at an all-time high in the Gaza Strip where the population has also suffered the impact of coronavirus and related restrictions on top of the blockade.

Cash assistance is a way for the EU to help the families directly affected by the violence with the dignity they deserve.”

Image: AP