|Israel eased its blockade after launching a deadly raid on aid ships heading for Gaza [AP]|
Following international criticism and attempts by human rights activists to break the three-year old economic siegeof the Gaza Strip, Israel has relaxed some of its restrictions on the Palestinian territory.
An Israeli cabinet meeting on June 20 decided to form two categories of items whose entry into Gaza would be subject to Israeli control. All items not included in either would be allowed into Gaza without specific permission.
The following are the guidelines for those restrictions, as laid out by the Israeli ministry of foreign affairswebsite:
Items subject to specific permission
1. Arms and munitions: forbidden transfer under all circumstances across Israel’s frontiers without specific permits – as defined in the Control of Exports Security Order (Arms and Munitions) and in the Control of Exports Security Order (Missile Equipment)
2. Dual use goods and items: liable to be used, side by side with their civilian purposes, for the development, production, installation or enhancement of military capabilities and terrorist capacities. This list comprises:
• Items listed under the Wassenaar Arrangement: As specified in the “Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies – List of Dual Use Goods and Technologies and Munitions List” updated in 2008.
• Items whose entry into the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas is controlled based on Israeli legislation: materials and equipment liable to be used for terror attacks and technology that could be used by terrorists – as defined in the Control of Exports Security Order and in Orders of the OC Central Command.
These lists include, in detail, a range of chemicals used in the production of explosives (including certain fertilisers); specific types of metal profiles; ball bearings; lathes and their parts; composite materials; hunting knives and machetes; optical equipment, such as lasers and night vision goggles; certain navigation aides; diving equipment; parachutes, gliders and other nonmotorised airborne vehicles; flares and fireworks; avionics and flight control equipment; missile related computer technologies; rock drills and equipment drawing water from excavated sites.
• Items not necessarily included in the lists above but whose entry into Gaza is controlled, as detailed below:
i. Items and chemicals which could be used in the production of high trajectory weapons (rockets and mortars) by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza – fertilisers or other mixtures – specifically containing potassium chloride (KCl) at more than 5 per cent; epoxy and vinyl ester resins; hardeners for epoxy resins containing amides or amines; accelerators for vinyl esters; hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB); water purification solutions at concentrations higher than 11 per cent.
ii. Items used as raw materials for improving protection for terror activists – fibers or woven fabrics containing carbon or glass variants.
Construction items and materials
While such items are liable to be used for Hamas military purposes (building bunkers, fortifying positions and digging tunnels) Israel will permit their entry into Gaza so as to facilitate construction projects in Gaza – authorised by the PA and implemented and monitored by the international community
• Portland cement and lime in bulk, bags or barrels
• Natural and quarry aggregates and all varieties of gravel
• Ready concrete
• Precast concrete elements and products
• Steel elements and/or construction products
• Iron for foundations and columns, at any diameter, including wielded steel nets
• Steel cables of any width
• Forms for construction elements, plastics or galvanised iron
• Industrialised forms for casting concrete
• Plastic or composite beams more than 4mm thick
• Thermal isolation materials and products
• Blocs at any width, concrete; silicate; ytong or its equivalent; or gypsum
• Materials and products for sealing structures
• Asphalt and its components (bitumen, emulsion) in aggregate or packaged
• Steel elements or framing products for construction
• Cast concrete elements and products for drainage over 1m in diameter
• Precast units and sea-borne containers
• Vehicles, excluding private cars and including 4X4 vehicles and other categories of motor vehicles liable to be used in terror activities
• Lumber beams and boards more than 2cm thick, liable to be used in “offensive” tunnelling aimed at penetrating Israeli territory, unless incorporated in finished products
• Specific procedures, on a case by case basis, will be established so as to permit the transfer of such lumber for other purposes in Gaza