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Israel opens four crossing points with Gaza

Aug. 13, 2008 9:32 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2008 9:32 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Israel said it would reopen four crossing points with the Gaza Strip, including the Kerem Shalom crossing which has been closed for four months, since an attack in which 13 Israeli soldiers were injured.

Palestinian officials, however, say that they have not received notification from the Israeli side regarding the opening of Kerem Shalom.

Hatim Uweida, director of the de facto government Economic Minister's Office, no orders have been received with regard to the coordination of shipments through Kerem Shalom.

"We just heard about reopening the crossing terminal from media outlets, yet we received no directives on shipments so far," Uweida said.

The Sufa crossing, used for commercial and humanitarian goods, was functioning normally on Wednesday, Uweida added. Eighty to 85 truckloads of food products usually pass through Sufa crossing daily.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the borders, including, Sufa, Nahal Oz, and Karni, closed on Tuesday in response to a homemade Palestinian projectile that landed in an Israeli town bordering Gaza.

Uweida said that Nahal 'Oz and Karni crossings were operating normally on Wednesday.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in June. According to the agreement, Palestinians and Israelis would hold their fire in Gaza, and Israel would gradually ease its blockade of Gaza's borders. While Israel has allowed some goods, such as building materials, into Gaza, the blockade has remained in place, and the 1.5 million residents of the Strip remain trapped inside.

***Updated at 11:49 local time

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