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Gaza: As civilians leave for Egypt, limited goods enter via Israel

June 13, 2011 9:40 A.M. (Updated: June 13, 2011 9:24 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The two access points to the Gaza Strip operated Monday, with 230 truckloads of goods expected to enter via Israel and limited civilians crossing the border to Egypt.

Egyptian officials at the Rafah crossing told their Palestinian counterparts that the civilian border terminal would open Monday with priority given to passengers who were delayed from the day before.

Muslim pilgrims preparing for the Umrah pilgrimage have registered en masse and hope to travel to Saudi Arabia via Egypt.

Head of the crossings department in the Gaza Strip Hatim Uweidha said the Rafah terminal continued to operate for civilians. He said new mechanisms in place to facilitate movement were working, but urged passengers to follow the instructions they received to make the process move smoothly.

Israeli officials also confirmed Monday that limited goods would be permitted via its crossing with Gaza.

Palestinian liaison officer Raed Fattouh said 230 truckloads of supplies would be brought into Gaza from Israel through the sole operating goods crossing, Kerem Shalom.

Fattouh said two trucks would bring cement and iron bars for UN-funded projects, six trucks would bring steel pipes for projects funded by the German Development Agency, and four loads of construction materials for USAID-funded projects would also be allowed into Gaza.

He said limited quantities of domestic-use gas would also be pumped in.

Imports into Gaza remain restricted under Israel's siege on the coastal enclave. Last week, according to UN monitors, 1,123 truckloads of goods were permitted to enter the Strip, less than half the pre-siege level.

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