Israel temporarily shuts down three Gaza border crossings 2009-04-15 17:48:41   Print

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 said.

    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 2007.

    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 crossing.

    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 crossing.

    Egypt conditions reopening Rafah crossing with implementing the 2005 U.S.-brokered agreement inked with the Palestinian National Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Editor: Liu
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