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Israeli forces detain Palestinian merchant at Gaza border crossing

Oct. 26, 2016 6:20 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 26, 2016 6:20 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a Palestinian merchant at a border crossing between Israel and the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening

Palestinian sources told Ma’an that Israeli authorities detained Zaki Abu Jazar after holding him for hours at the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli authorities meanwhile released Palestinian merchant Atef al-Dabbas after detaining him for several days.

Al-Dabbas had come to the Erez crossing for an interview with the Israeli intelligence to obtain a permit to enter Israel but was detained.

A spokesperson for the Shin Bet could not be reached for comment on either case.

Erez is the only land crossing between Gaza and Israel, although travel is heavily restricted by Israeli authorities as part of a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in place since 2007.

Palestinians detained at Erez are often interrogated for several hours, sometimes for days, before they are either allowed into Israel or sent back to Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas was elected to rule the territory. Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008, most recently in the summer of 2014.

The UN has said that the besieged Palestinian territory could become "uninhabitable" by 2020, as its 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy, while continuing to experience slow-paced reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding homes for some 75,000 Palestinians who remain displaced since 2014.
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