Israel reopens Gaza crossing after calm returns to border

AFP , Monday 25 Apr 2022

Israel will re-open its only crossing from Gaza for workers two days after closing it, the defence ministry said Monday, following a lull in rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave.

Israel-Palestinians-conflict-Gaza
Palestinian workers enter Israel after crossing from Gaza on the Israeli side of Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, March. 27, 2022. (AP Photo)

"Following a security assessment, it has been decided... that as of tomorrow... labourers and merchants will again be permitted to enter Israel from Gaza through the Erez crossing," said COGAT, a unit of the Israeli defence ministry responsible for Palestinian civil affairs.

The crossing is used by 12,000 Palestinians with permits to enter Israel for work.

"Opening the crossing for merchants and labourers and the other civilian measures applied to the Gaza Strip are conditioned on the continued preservation of a stable security situation in the area," COGAT said in a statement.

On Saturday, COGAT had announced it was closing Erez after militants in Gaza fired projectiles at Israel for four consecutive days, amid a second weekend of heavy clashes at east Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The unrest, which came as the Jewish festival of Passover overlapped with the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, sparked fears of a wider conflict, nearly one year after similar violence at Al-Aqsa led to an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza-based militants.

No rockets have been fired from Gaza since Saturday morning.

Overnight Sunday into Monday, a projectile was fired from Lebanon into northern Israel, the army said. Nobody claimed responsibility for that fire and Israel's military responded by firing artillery rounds into Lebanon.

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