Israel was scheduled to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing used to transfer goods
between Israel and Gaza on Monday after it was closed last week when a rocket
was fired from the coastal territory into southern Israel.
to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing was made Sunday following consultations on
the security situation. The Erez crossing – which is used for people to cross
the border – was set to remain partially closed.
The announcement came
after MK Dov Henin (Hadash) appealed on Sunday to outgoing Defense Minister Ehud
Barak to reopen the crossings. Henin urged Barak to stop any act of collective
punishment on the Strip.
In a letter to Barak, Henin wrote: “The recent
steps are not derived from concrete security needs but indicate a new policy in
managing the issues with Gaza, which constitute measures of collective
punishment to the local population, which contradicts Defense Ministry
statements about the need to distinguish between the civilian population and
Henin stressed that this type of punishment is
forbidden under international law and “if this is indeed a new policy, then it
is a dangerous policy that has already proven to be ineffective in the
He urged the ministry to return to its previous policy and warned
that changes to it can only cause harm and create a fertile ground for
escalation between the two sides.
The Defense Ministry had said earlier
on Sunday that the crossings would remain closed, due to gunfire from Gaza on
Saturday and riots in the area on Friday. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said
Palestinians rioted near the border fence with Israel on Friday, firing guns in
the direction of soldiers and throwing stones and firebombs.