Jerusalem: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon on Monday announced the reopening of one of the main crossing points into the Palestinian Gaza Strip, which has been closed for at least eight years.
However he did not give a date for the reopening of the Erez crossing in the north of the territory, saying only that this “will not happen tomorrow or the day after”.
“It is in our interests that a significant amount of truckloads of food continues to go to Gaza,” a spokesman for Yaalon said in a statement.
“It is our interest that Gazans live in dignity. Both from a humanitarian point of view and because this is a way to protect the peace, in addition to existing security deterrents.”
Yaalon also spoke of the necessity to ease congestion at the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south, currently the only conduit for goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
He said that “at least half of what currently goes via Kerem Shalom” will be redirected to Erez.
Israel imposed a tight air, sea and land blockade on Gaza in 2006, designed to prevent the Islamist Hamas movement that controls the territory from rearming.
Bordered to the north and east by Israel and with the Mediterranean Sea to its west, the enclave is also subjected to an Egyptian blockade to the south.
Israel controls all but one of the crossing points with Gaza — the Rafah crossing into Egypt,
The Erez crossing was closed to the passage of goods in 2008.
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