Smuggling into Gaza Rising

Palestinian security sources say smuggling of weapons and merchandises into Gaza through the Rafah crossing,tunnels and the sea, have reached an unprecedented extent.

The extent of the smuggling is due to the absence of preventive activity on the Palestinian side.

In September 2005 the Reut Institute has warned that following Israel's Disengagement Plan and the withdrawal from Gaza's external perimeter, and in light of Israel's goal of reaching "end of responsibility" over Gaza, an erosion has occurred in two of the central principles of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship:

  • Principle of a demilitarized Palestinian state – the Palestinian entity in the interim period and in its permanent status was supposed to be demilitarized. In reality, even before Israel's withdrawal from Gaza's external perimeter and from the Rafah crossing, this principle was seriously eroded.
  • Israeli-Palestinian customs envelope – the customs envelope was formed in the mid 90's on the basic assumption that it has now lost most of its relevancy: at the time there were no physical borders between Israel and the territories; free movement of trade and personnel existed; the economic arrangements with the Palestinians were meant to be temporary (until a Permanent Status agreement would be signed. circa 5/99); and Israel would retain full control over the border crossings of the West Bank and Gaza.

For the full text, (Avi Issacharoff, Ha'aretz, 6/16/06)