A United Nations report said Thursday that Israel kept the Rafah crossing terminal closed half of the scheduled opening days between 4 and April17.

The Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which circulated the report, considered the opening of the crossing as the best since the start of the year.

Since June25, 2006, Israel has frequently closed the Rafah terminal crossing, within a series of military actions, following the capture by Palestinian resistance groups of Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit.

The OCHA’s report watches the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) that was signed on Nov. 15, 2005 following the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September2005.

Since then, 72 European observers have been monitoring movement on the crossing as a third party, replacing the Israeli side.

This bi-weekly report reads that 6,420 travelers managed to cross into the Gaza Strip and 7,183 others crossed into Egypt during the said period.

The EU observers’ mandate is due to terminate by May2007, however, the Palestinian side requested extension.

The terminal, Gaza’s main outlet to abroad, was reopened today after almost one week of complete closure.