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Israel reopens commercial crossing with Gaza after 2-day closure

April 12, 2017 12:16 P.M. (Updated: April 12, 2017 3:35 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Wednesday reopened the Karem Abu Salam (Kerem Shalom) commercial crossing between Israel and the southeastern Gaza Strip after two days of closure, while civilian passage for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza would remained closed until April 17 for the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Palestinian management of the crossing told Ma’an that said that 750 truckloads, including 15 truckloads of diesel, were expected to enter the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

The Karam Abu Salam crossing serves as the only point through which commercial and industrial goods are allowed to enter the besieged coastal enclave, which has been suffering under a nearly decade-long Israeli blockade.

Israeli authorities announced last week that all crossings between Israel, Gaza, and the occupied West Bank would be closed “except for special circumstances and humanitarian cases,” between Sunday night, April 9, to end the night of Monday, April 17.

Last month, Israeli authorities sealed the West Bank and tightened the decade-long closure of the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Purim, preventing movement both in and out of the occupied territory.

Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes.

Meanwhile, such policies have been strongly criticized by rights groups for amounting to collective punishment, while blocking Palestinians who work in Israel and Jerusalem from accessing their jobs, exacerbating economic suffering in the territory.

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