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Israel to close Gaza commercial crossing for 2 days during Israeli holidays

April 27, 2017 4:43 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2017 5:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have decided to close the only commercial crossing between Israel and the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday and Tuesday on the occasion of two Israeli holidays, Palestinian sources said on Thursday.

Director General of the Public Administration of the Crossing Points and Borders Committee in Gaza Nathmi Muhanna said that Israeli authorities had informed Palestinian officials that the Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) would be closed for two days, as Israel marks its Memorial Day and Independence Day -- which commemorates the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Muhanna added that the crossing would only allow the entry of fuel into Gaza on Friday, and would be operating normally on Sunday.

The Karam Abu Salem crossing has been open intermittently since the beginning of the year, affecting the small Palestinian territory’s access to fuel to power the enclave’s sole electricity plant.

The power plant has not run at full capacity in years, with Israel's crippling blockade severely limiting fuel imports into the coastal enclave.

War has also taken its toll on already dire living conditions, and during Israel's 50-day offensive on Gaza in 2014, the power plant was targeted, completely knocking it out of commission.

The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and nearly a decade of Israel's blockade.
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