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Israel reopens Gaza crossing after 3-day closure

Sept. 28, 2014 3:44 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 30, 2014 1:51 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Sunday morning opened the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in the southeastern Gaza Strip after it was closed shut for three days over the Jewish New Year holiday.

A spokesperson for the Gaza crossings authority said in a statement that Israel notified the Palestinian side that 380 truckloads of goods would be allowed into the coastal enclave through the Kerem Shalom (Kerem Abu Salem) crossing.

The shipments include 32 truckloads of humanitarian aid, 24 truckloads of animal feed, 45 truckloads of goods for Gaza's agricultural sector, one truckload of equipment for Gaza's power authority, and two truckloads for water authorities.

The statement also said that 65 truckloads of gravel and 13 truckloads of cement would be allowed in for projects sponsored by the UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA.

Israel allows imports into Gaza at a much lower level than needed for the 1.8 million residents of the tiny coastal enclave, particularly in light of the massive devastation wrought by Israeli forces in a more than 50-day assault that left more than 2,000 dead and more than 110,000 homeless.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is one of only two crossings into Israel that are operational, the other four having been shut since Israeli authorities initiated a blockade on Gaza in 2007.

The Israeli siege has severely limited imports and exports as well as movement of people, crippling Gaza's economy.

According to Israeli right group Gisha, exports have been reduced to two percent of their previous levels, devastating the economy and leading to widespread unemployment and poverty.
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