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Israel reopens Kerem Shalom, Erez crossings

Oct. 21, 2018 11:37 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 24, 2018 3:38 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities decided that the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern besieged Gaza Strip and the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun) in northern Gaza will be reopened on Sunday after a 10-day closure.

The Palestinian Crossing Coordination Committee informed the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Erez crossing administrations of the Israeli decision to resume operations at both crossings after 10 days of closure.

The closure came after the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's announcement that Israel will halt the transfer of fuel and gas into Gaza as long as the violent protests continue along the Gaza border, including the launch of incendiary kites and balloons.

Lieberman said that despite the reopening of the crossings, it would not allow the entry of Qatari-funded fuel into Gaza for Gaza's only power plant.

It is noteworthy that Gaza's daily demand of power is between 450 to 500 Megawatts. However, the enclave has struggled for years with power shortages due to limited fuel access and degraded infrastructure.

There are three crossings into the Gaza Strip; two are controlled by Israel and one by Egypt. The Gaza-Israel crossings are the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, that is specifically for pedestrians, and Kerem Shalom in the southern Gaza Strip for the entry of goods and fuel. The Gaza-Egypt crossing is the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, but is often closed and lacks infrastructure for it to be a main commercial crossing.

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