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130 trucks to enter Gaza via single crossing

June 22, 2010 8:55 P.M. (Updated: June 23, 2010 1:20 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli officials informed their Palestinian crossing counterparts that agricultural tools, car parts, ketchup, sewing needles, toys and make-up would be permitted to enter Gaza on Tuesday.

Liaison crossings official Raed Fattuh said 130 truckloads of goods would be permitted to enter Gaza, noting the news was communicated to him by Israeli crossings officials.

The introduction of new goods comes ahead of the publication of a list by Israeli security officials, laying out what items will be banned form entry under the new terms of the Gaza siege, voted on in Israel's security cabinet Sunday.

Most of the items permitted entry Tuesday, Fattouh said, were for the support of the agricultural and commercial sectors, and come in addition to limited imports of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel.

Gaza Electricity Authority officials complained Monday that Ramallah had cut supplies to the central Gaza Strip power plant in recent weeks by more than half. A statement released by the authority said that shut-down of the plant was immanent if additional supplies were not received.

Israeli officials told IRIN, the UN news and analysis service, that the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip reached 140 per day, with an increasing number of goods included in the shipments.

"We informed the Palestinian side yesterday that we are able to increase the amount of wares entering the Gaza Strip by more than 30 percent. We intend to enlarge the variety of goods to everything, except material that is likely to be used for terror operations," IRIN quoted Col Moshe Levi, head of the District Coordination and Liaison Office, on Monday.

Sources in Gaza told IRIN that prices are already dropping in local markets.

All of the goods will enter Gaza via a single open crossing, Fattouh said, as the bulk goods terminal in the northern Gaza Strip, Karni, was announced closed.

Before the Israeli siege on Gaza began, Karni was the main goods transport terminal, transporting some 10,000 truckloads of goods per month into the Strip. Since the siege began, the crossing has been open for only limited periods, recently only two days per week. According to statistics from Paltrade, part of the National Trade Development Organization, in April and May, the crossing was only open 37% of scheduled days.

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