Israel to reopen Gaza goods crossing if calm holds

UN officials meanwhile warned that the Gaza Strip was facing serious fuel shortages affecting hospitals as well as water and sanitation facilities, calling for restrictions to be lifted.

Israel to reopen Gaza goods crossing if calm holds

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel will reopen its only goods crossing with the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday if calm is maintained, a minister said, after having closed it July 9 partly over kites carrying firebombs.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that "if today and tomorrow the situation continues as it was yesterday, then on Tuesday we will allow Kerem Shalom (goods crossing) to return to normal activity and the fishing zones will return to the same distances as before."

Lieberman, speaking at the crossing, stressed that calm also meant an end to months of kites and balloons carrying firebombs over the border fence from the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas to burn Israeli farmland.

Israeli authorities say hundreds of fires have been started by the firebombs since April.

Lieberman said "the key is quiet, calm, zero firebombs, zero friction on the fence and zero rockets or, God forbid, shooting."

Lieberman's comments came after a ceasefire was reached following a major flare-up of violence between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel on Friday.

The escalation -- the second in as many weeks -- followed months of tension that have raised fears that a fourth war since 2008 could erupt between Hamas and Israel.

The ceasefire followed a wave of deadly Israeli air strikes across Gaza sparked by the death of an Israeli soldier shot near the border.

There has been relative calm on the Gaza border since the ceasefire.

Last Mod: 22 Temmuz 2018, 17:18
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