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Israel to close Gaza commercial crossing for Israeli holidays

Oct. 11, 2017 3:30 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2017 12:51 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have decided to close the only commercial crossing between Israel and the besieged Gaza Strip on the occasion of ongoing Jewish holidays in Israel, Palestinian sources said on Wednesday.

Director General of the Public Administration of the Crossing Points and Borders Committee in Gaza Nathmi Muhanna said that Israel would be closing the Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing over the weekend.

While Israel would “exceptionally open the crossing” on Wednesday to allow fuel into the Gaza Strip, the crossing would be closed for three days beginning Thursday, Muhanna said.

According to Muhanna, the crossing will be reopened on Sunday.

The Karam Abu Salem crossing has been opened intermittently since the beginning of the year, affecting the small Palestinian territory’s access to fuel to power the enclave’s sole electricity plant.

The power plant has not run at full capacity in years, with Israel's crippling blockade severely limiting fuel imports into the coastal enclave.

War has also taken its toll on already dire living conditions, and during Israel's 50-day offensive on Gaza in 2014, the power plant was targeted, completely knocking it out of commission.

The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and nearly a decade of Israel's blockade.

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