Israel bans 700 goods from entering Gaza

Saleh Naami , Wednesday 6 Apr 2011

Israel closes a fourth Gaza crossing after preventing the passage of vital material into Gaza, triggering fears of an impending humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory

The area around the Gaza Strip has been declared a "closed military zone" in 2008, (Reuters).

Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates entry of goods between Israel and Gaza, said that Israeli authorities are prohibiting the passage of at least 700 goods into Gaza.

In a press statement Wednesday morning, Fattouh made clear that the Israeli Occupation Forces are preventing 50 per cent of Gaza imports to pass due to excuses that are unsubstantiated and unconvincing.

Fattouh pointed out that most of the prohibited material belongs to the building and construction sector, which increased the housing problem in the strip that had been piling up for four years.

The Occupation Forces’ decision to close the  Karam Abu Salem crossing into Gaza on Wednesday – the only crossing operating out of four, three of which were already closed – is expected to exacerbate the humanitarian situation in Gaza according to Fattouh.

Fattouh warned that if the International Community does not move to pressure Israel to allow vital and necessary material to pass, a serious humanitarian crisis will take place.

The Palestinian Authority had agreed with Israel three months back to close al-Mentar – the major crossing between Gaza and Israel.

Goods were allowed to pass through Karam Abu Salem instead despite its distant location and its lower capacity for the passage of goods.

Israel had eased its four-year-blockade on Gaza due to the Freedom Flotilla episode in May 2010.

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