Israel reopens crossings into Gaza

Cement to be allowed through for first time in a year; passage was closed due to Kassam attacks.

karni reopens 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
karni reopens 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel will allow cement into the Gaza Strip later Wednesday for the first time in a year as crossings with the Palestinian territory are reopened in accordance with a cease-fire, an Israeli spokesman said. Four crossings between Israel and Gaza reopened on schedule Wednesday, Israel and Hamas said. Since a truce began June 19, Israel has closed the passages a total of six days in retaliation for rocket attacks. "After evaluating the situation where we had a couple of days where rockets were fired, no rockets were fired yesterday and this has enabled us to reopen the crossings," IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said. The crossings had last been closed on Tuesday, after Israel said two rockets hit Israel on Monday. Hamas denies that those rockets were fired. The Hamas Interior Ministry said Wednesday that Israel would allow in fuel, wheat and animal feed, in addition to five trucks of dry cement. About 26 sick Palestinians will also enter Israel to receive treatment, the ministry said. Lerner and Hamas said five trucks of cement would enter Gaza later Wednesday. In Egyptian-controlled crossing in the southern Gaza Strip would also be opened Wednesday to allow sick Palestinians to seek treatment abroad and Arab travelers to enter the territory, Hamas official Ayman Taha said. That crossing, Rafah, was also open Tuesday.