Gaza crossing closed for remainder of Passover

Published April 28th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
The closed gates of the Kerem Shalom crossing. (AFP/Said Khatib)
The closed gates of the Kerem Shalom crossing. (AFP/Said Khatib)

Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel from Thursday for the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Head of the PA’s Crossings and Border Department, Nathmi Mhanna, told Ma’an the crossing would be sealed until Sunday with the exception of fuel entering the besieged enclave.
 
Israel’s Ministry of Defense did not have immediate information on closures; however, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said an initial decision to impose a full closure on Palestinian movement in and out of both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend was later reversed.
 
Despite the reversal, Palestinians have continued to face severe restrictions on movement in and out of the West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip since the start of the Passover holiday.
 
Last week the Israeli authorities suspended weekly Friday visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for elderly Palestinians from Gaza due to Passover.
 
The suspension came one week after some 200 Palestinians above the age of 60 were permitted to cross out of the besieged enclave for the first time since a one-month freeze on visitation was lifted by Israel.
 
Kerem Shalom is one of two operating Israeli crossings out of the blockaded coastal enclave, dedicated primarily to the movement of goods and the only crossing available for the import of fuel.
 
Pedestrians moving in and out of the strip travel through the Erez crossing, which is closed to the majority of the strip’s Palestinian residents.
 
The majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a near-decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

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