Government Press Office employees, today (Thursday, 23 October 2014), toured Erez Crossing as part of the process of learning lessons and improving service to journalists in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.
Erez Crossing is the only crossing for people seeking to go from Israel to the Gaza Strip and vice-versa. Kerem Shalom Crossing is designated for goods. During Operation Protective Edge, when Kerem Shalom was closed for security reasons, goods also entered the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing in order to minimize possible damage to the humanitarian assistance that was delivered to Gaza even under fire.
At Erez Crossing, which is administered by the Defense Ministry Crossings Authority, the GPO employees met with crossing Director Shlomo Tsaban who briefed them on the history of the crossing and on its work procedures, including the security inspections.
Tsaban told the GPO employees that during Operation Protective Edge, in addition to the dozens of ambulances and hundreds of patients who used the crossing on humanitarian grounds, there were approximately 3,000 entries and departures by foreign journalists who came to cover the operation.
The GPO employees toured the terminal and noted the advanced technologies, reinforced structures and innovative equipment with which the crossing is equipped.
The GPO employees met with 2nd-Lt. Adina Horesh, the head IDF Liasion Unit representative at the crossing and discussed with her ways to improve service for journalists during times of routine and emergency.
At the end of the tour, the GPO employees spoke with Eli Tobol, the head Interior Ministry Population and Migration Authority representative at the crossing, about new procedures for - inter alia - checking the documents of foreign journalists arriving in Israel and who are interested in receiving GPO cards, which allow them to enter the Gaza Strip.
The tour of Erez Crossing was the first in series of planned tours at the various border crossings in order to improve service for foreign journalists arriving in Israel.