Israel reopens crossings, allows goods, fuels into Gaza

June 22nd, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Gaza, June 22 (Xinhua) Some 72 hours after a truce between Hamas and Israel came into force, Tel Aviv Sunday reopened two border crossing points and allowed food and fuels into the territory, Palestinian security sources said. The sources said that at 0600 GMT, the Israeli army reopened the crossings between Gaza and Israel and allowed, for the first time in a year, basic food supplies into Gaza.

Witnesses said Israel opened the Sofa crossing on the border between southeast Gaza Strip and Israel, adding that goods are left on the ground 500 meters from the crossing.

“After all goods are allowed into Gaza through the crossing, Palestinian trucks go and pick up the loads of goods and travel to Gaza to deliver them,” said Mahmoud Subeih, a Palestinian truck driver waiting at Sofa crossing.

Sunday morning, witnesses said hundreds of Palestinian trucks and goods vehicles waited outside the crossing of Sofa and Nahal Oz crossings, a scene not sighted for more than a year.

Israel imposed a tightened blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas took control of the enclave one year ago. Israel termed the area as “a hostile entity” and didn’t allow basic food supplies and fuels into the area.

Israel agreed on a gradual reopening of the closed crossings following the ceasefire brokered by Egypt that came into force Thursday morning.

According to Hamas security sources, Israel would subsequently increase the flow of goods into Gaza by 30 percent of the present volume, and would also allow previously banned items such as cloths, shoes and furniture into the area.

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