(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories spokesman denied on
Wednesday reports that the Karni crossing with the Gaza Strip was closing down
and that the move would restrict passage of goods.
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The spokesman said
that the crossing had already been mostly closed for two years, operating only
two days a week as a transit point for products entering and exiting
According to Maj. Guy Inbar, reports that the crossing was closing
were a mistake in terminology. He added that moving the crossing’s operations to
Kerem Shalom in the southern Strip would increase the operational production of
employees because they will be employed all week and not just the two days a
week that the Karni crossing was open.
Inbar said a major reason for
moving the operations to Kerem Shalom was because of terrorist threats against
the crossing, which is located in the northern Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Nahal
News that the crossing’s operations would be moved was met with
dismay by the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which issued a
statement saying “today’s closing of Karni crossing will further restrict the
ability of Palestinian residents of Gaza to engage in dignified, productive
Rather than considering opening new crossings, as Israel promised
as part of its ‘easing’ of the closure, Israel is squeezing shut one of the last
gateways into Gaza, pushing all access into the small southern Kerem Shalom
The statement added that “since the December 8, 2010,
announcement of ‘easings’ of restrictions on export, Israel has allowed just
four trucks per day to leave Gaza, rather than the 400 trucks per day it
promised in the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access.
On Wednesday, the
Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories began allowing the export
of cherry tomatoes from the Gaza Strip to buyers in Europe. Three tons of cherry
tomatoes were shipped out of the territory on Wednesday.
Inbar said that
the move is part of increased cooperation that can also be seen in Israel’s
allowing 300 Palestinian farmers from the West Bank and 20 from Gaza to enter
Israel to take part in the 21st Agro-Mashov international agriculture conference
held this week in Tel Aviv.