idf leave karni 298 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Karni trade crossing into the Gaza Strip will reopen to business on Sunday after it was closed for almost a month due to terror warnings.
The IDF shut the crossing in mid-January after receiving intelligence that Palestinian terror groups were digging "terror tunnels" under the crossing.
Following Karni's closure, the Defense Ministry announced plans to open the Kerem Shalom pedestrian crossing in the southern tip of Gaza to humanitarian and commercial goods.
The Palestinians, however, rejected the offer and accused Israel of tightening its siege on Gaza due to the Palestinian elections.
The Palestinians further claimed that Karni's closure cost the Palestinian economy close to $500,000 daily in lost export goods and created a shortage of basic dairy and agricultural products in the Gaza Strip.
Defense Ministry officials over the weekend rejected the Palestinian complaints and stressed that Israel offered the Palestinian Authority to use the Kerem Shalom pedestrian crossing to transfer goods but that their offer was ignored.
The decision to enable the Kerem Shalom crossing to transfer commercial goods was made in conjunction with the United States and the Quartet.
"We offered the Palestinians to use Kerem Shalom on January 20, way before the Palestinian elections," defense officials said.
"The offer was rejected by the Palestinians and as a result unnecessary damage was inflicted on the Palestinian economy and people."