Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts
GAZA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Wednesday closed down three key commercial crossings
on its borders with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for the security
of the Jewish holiday of Pesah, a Gaza official in charge of crossings
Raed Fatouh, the Palestinian coordinator to operate crossings with Israel,
told reporters that he was informed that Israel had closed the three commercial
crossings for one day due to the Jewish holiday of Pesah.
The three crossings, Nahal Oz depot, Kerem Shalom and Karni, will reopen
for fuels, cocking gas and food supplies on Thursday, and more than 80 different
kinds of products are still banned, said Fatouh.
Israel has been imposing a closure on the Gaza Strip since the Islamic Hamas
movement won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, and it tightened
the blockade after Hamas took control of the enclave by force in June
Following international pressure on the Jewish state, Israel frequently
opens the three crossings to allow humanitarian needs of food and fuels for the
1.5 million people of the enclave.
Israel conditions lifting the blockade with the release of its captive
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in Hamas' captivity since the summer
of 2006, while Hamas demands the release of 1,450 Palestinian prisoners in
exchange for freeing Shalit.
Meanwhile, Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is still closed for
several weeks, said an official of the Hamas-ruled ministry of interior, adding
that there are 700 patients who need urgent treatment and wait for reopening the
Adel Zourob called on Egypt to reopen the crossing to allow the patients,
the students and the Palestinians who have other nationalities and stuck in Gaza
to leave, adding that there are around 4,000 people waiting for the opening of
Egypt conditions reopening Rafah crossing with implementing the 2005 U.S.-brokered agreement inked with the Palestinian National Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.