IDF: Karni crossing not closing; moving to Keren Shalom

Spokesman says the crossing has already been mostly closed for two years, operating only two days a week as a transit point.

karni 248 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
karni 248
(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.
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 Gaza.
RELATED:IDF set to close Karni crossing into GazaWikiLeaks: US had corruption concerns at Karni in ’06
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 Oz.
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 work.
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 crossing.”
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.