Humanitarian goods are transfered via the Kerem HaShalom crossing from Israel into Gaza..
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Israel will allow fuel and gas to enter Gaza starting at noon on Tuesday, but has extended the ban on commercial goods until such time as Hamas completely halts it violence against Israel. Food and medicine will continue to enter the Strip as usual.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this month directly linked Hamas violence with the movement of goods and humanitarian supplies into Gaza, which is why certain goods were banned from entering the coastal enclave.
This Sunday, he expressed his hope that calm had been restored to the Gaza border, such that he could lift the crossing restrictions Israel had imposed earlier this month.
Liberman also visited the main commercial crossing into Gaza at Kerem Shalom, where he explained that an average of 140 trucks had entered Gaza with food and medicine over the last week, compared with 1,000 trucks of supplies that entered at peak times this year.
“The full restoration of the Kerem Shalom crossing is contingent upon the complete cessation of flaming balloons and friction on the fence,” the Defense Ministry said then.
However, on Tuesday morning Liberman pointed out that Hamas had not completely stopped its terrorist attacks, and was instead maintaining a low level arson terror, continuing frictions at the border fence with Israel.
The Israeli Air Force struck two terror cells in Gaza on Sunday and Monday that were responsible for launching flaming balloons and kites at southern Israel.
Thus, the amount and types of goods that enter Gaza are still limited and will be contingent on Hamas activities in the coming days, the Defense Ministry argued.
UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov held a series of diplomatic meetings this week, including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and representatives from the EU, Norway, and the World Bank in order to advance progress on a rehabilitation plan for Gaza.
He is expected to brief the UN Security Council later on Tuesday about events on the ground in the coastal enclave, when the 15-member body meets in New York for its monthly meeting on the Middle East.
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