Israel must transfer control over the Rafah crossing to the Palestinian Authority, and allow regular passage of people and goods between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a position paper presented to the Quartet’s special envoy for the disengagement, James Wolfensohn, by the PA’s donor countries, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund stated.
The paper was also presented to Israel and the Palestinian Authority for comments.
The World Bank announced several months ago that aid for economic rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip would be almost useless if restrictions on the entry and exit of goods and businesspeople to and from Gaza continue.
From a legal point of view, continued control by Israel over the border crossings would leave Israel in the status of occupier, even after withdrawing the settlers and army.
The paper also emphasizes the crucial importance of the economic ties between the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and that any attempt to separate the two areas, politically as well, is destined to undermine efforts by the donor countries, the World Bank and the IMF to rebuild the Gazan economy, draw investors and reduce the colossal unemployment rate.