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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Plan For Rail Link To Gaza Conditionally Filed By Southern District Planning and Building Committee

Plan For Rail Link To Gaza Conditionally Filed By Southern District Planning
and Building Committee
Dr. Aaron Lerner 13 March 2018

The Southern District Planning and Building Committee's 12 March meeting
reviewed the plan for a rail link to the Gaza Strip via the Erez Crossing.

The timeline so far:

1 August, 2012: Drawings of the plan were presented to the Southern District
Planner and the Ministry of the Environment.

18 February, 2013: Ministry of the Environment issues instructions for the
preparation of an environmental impact survey.

29 June, 2014: Chapter A and B of an environmental impact survey submitted.

20 July, 2014: Ministry of the Environment asks for additional information
completing the environmental impact survey.

4 February, 2015 Revised environmental impact statement submitted.

22 November, 2015: Ministry of the Environment submits final opinion
regarding Chapters A and B of the environmental impact survey.

23 November, 2015: Planning Committee approves alternative in accordance
with Chapters A and B of the environmental impact survey.

26 June, 2016: Chapters C and D of the environmental impact survey
submitted.

14 July, 2016: Ministry of the Environment requests more information.

6 December, 2016: Completing information submitted.

28 February, 2017: Final opinion of the Ministry of the Environment
submitted.

23 April, 2017: Plan documents submitted to the engineers of the Southern
District Planning and Building Committee.

19 June, 2017: Planning Office issue "preliminary check".

9 July, 2017: Para-ruling meeting held at the Planning Office.

24 September, 2017: Shikma Park considers the plan.

31 December, 2017: Replies submitted to the "preliminary check".

12 March, 2018: The Southern District Planning and Building Committee
rejects the request from Shikma Park to investigate route alternatives again
and approves Chapters C - E of the environmental impact survey subject to
addressing issues relating to the storage of hazardous material in the cargo
terminal.

The Committee filed the plans subject to:
1. Updating in accordance with the comments of the Ministry of the
Environment.
2. Approval of the Committee for the Preservation of Agricultural Land and
Open Areas.
3. Completion of coordination with the Ministry of Defense.
4. Addition of plans to preserve historic bridges.
5. Addition of instructions for the handling of the area of the cancelled
rail.
6. Updating the plan in accordance with the remarks of the Planning Office.

Once the above is completed, the final plan will be published for public
comment.

The plan includes the erection of a passenger terminal at the Erez Crossing
as well as a cargo terminal for the movement of cargo between the Gaza Strip
and Israel and in the future for the export of goods from the Gaza Strip to
the rest of the world.

Implementation of the double rail, which comes off of the Ashkelon-Beersheba
line, would dramatically reduce the cost of transporting cargo that is now
trucked to and from the Gaza Strip. It would also serve to relieve the
heavy truck congestion on Negev roads currently serving the Gaza Strip.

For copies of the plan:
http://bit.ly/2p98G9P

________________________________________
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