World Bulletin/News Desk
Israel on Sunday reopened the Gaza Strip's only functioning commercial crossing – the Kerem Shalom border terminal – after four days of closure due to Jewish holidays, a Palestinian official has said.
"Israeli authorities reopened the border crossing following a four-day closure," Mounir al-Ghalban, administrator for the Palestinian side of the crossing, told Anadolu Agency.
At least 380 trucks were allowed into the Gaza Strip, including 70 ones loaded with aid supplies, he added.
The remaining trucks carried commercial and industrial goods as well as limited amounts of cooking gas and fuel.
Al-Ghalban asserted that Israel had not yet taken any steps to lift the crippling blockade, under which the Gaza Strip has groaned since 2007.
A cease-fire deal, signed by Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Cairo on August 26, calls for Israel to reopen its crossings with Gaza to commercial traffic.
The cease-fire ended Israel's 51-day onslaught on the densely-populated Gaza Strip, which left over 2,150 Palestinians dead – the vast majority of them civilians – and more than 11,000 injured.
However, the official said the crossing continued to operate at its pre-cease-fire capacity, being used mostly for the entry of foodstuff and humanitarian assistance into Gaza.
Blockaded by Israel – by air, land and sea – since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world. Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh – the Rafah crossing – is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part.
Israel sealed four of its commercial crossings with Gaza in June 2007 after Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the strip from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.
As it currently stands, Israeli authorities allow the Kerem Shalom crossing – which links Gaza to both Israel and Egypt – to operate for commercial purposes.
The Gaza-Israel Erez crossing, meanwhile, is generally devoted to the movement of individuals between Gaza and the occupied West Bank.Last Mod: 28 Eylül 2014, 11:34