Israel reopens Gaza crossing after nearly two weeks

AFP , Sunday 15 May 2022

Israel reopened on Sunday its only crossing with the besieged Gaza Strip to Palestinian workers nearly two weeks after closing it over the unrest, the defence ministry said.

Gaza, Erez crossing
File Photo: Palestinian workers leave the last station in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, before reaching Israel through the Erez crossing to work, on February 23, 2022. AFP


"Following an assessment of the security situation, it has been decided... to open Erez Crossing for passage of workers and permit holders from the Gaza Strip into Israel, beginning Sunday," said COGAT, a unit of the Israeli defence ministry responsible for Palestinian civil affairs.

The crossing is used by 12,000 Palestinians in the Israeli-besieged strip with permits to enter Israel for work.

Israel had closed the crossing on May 3 ahead of the occupation state's national memorial and independence days, and amid a crackdown on Palestinians  in the occupied West Bank, although the Gaza front was quiet.

Israeli occupation authorities feared tensions and violence in and around Jerusalem during April when Muslims observed the holy fasting month of Ramadan, would bring another conflict with Gaza, but that did not happen.

A recent World Bank report put the unemployment rate in Gaza, a Palestinian territory of some 2.3 million people that has been under a debilitating Israeli siege since 2006, at nearly 48 percent, with work in Israel a vital lifeline to the enclave's economy.

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