Israel opens Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing

Israeli authorities have opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza to enable the entry of aid and the pumping of fuel and cooking gas, Palestinian Deputy Economy Minister Nasser As-Saraj said on Wednesday.

Kerem Shalom was closed a week ago because of security concerns. In March another crossing, Karni, in the eastern part of Gaza, was closed. In early 2009 Israeli authorities blocked crossing at Nahal Oz, used for delivering fuel to the enclave.

About 250 truckloads of humanitarian aid will enter Gaza, in addition to the pumping of cooking gas and fuel for the Gaza power plant, As-Saraj said, adding that several trucks with flowers from Gaza will deliver them for export in Europe.

In 2010, Israel lifted a 2007-imposed Gaza blockade for almost all kinds of goods, except arms. Jerusalem also eased export restrictions.

The Gaza Strip has been subject to Israeli attacks and economic blockade since the radical Islamic group Hamas took control of the enclave in the summer of 2007, ousting President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement.

Israeli Operation Cast Lead, which lasted for three weeks and ended in mid-January 2009, killed some 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza and injured over 5,300 others. Up to 50,000 people were also left homeless in the enclave of 1.5 million.

GAZA, April 13 (RIA Novosti) 


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