After permanently closing the main commercial crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip two days ago, Israeli authorities allowed 10 trucks to cross into Gaza with building materials, Wednesday morning, through a crossing that has been closed for over three years.Officials with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza say that the Kerem Shalom crossing, which was closed by Israeli forces permanently on Sunday, must be re-opened, and the 3 year siege imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israeli authorities be ended.
IMEMC reporter Rami al-Meghari spoke with Palestinian officials in Gaza, and reports that they are not satisfied with the Israeli authorities allowing ten trucks through Sufa crossing on Wednesday. The ten trucks contain 500 tons of cement, all bound for United Nations sponsored projects in Gaza.
This is a tiny fraction of the 70,000 tons of cement and other building materials that are currently in Israel from foreign sources awaiting transport into Gaza. Since Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 that destroyed tens of thousands of homes, farms and businesses, the Palestinian population has been unable to rebuild due to the Israeli siege preventing the import of building materials.
Nahed Shhaibar, spokesperson for the courier companies association in Gaza who was supervising the movement of trucks at Sufa earlier today, told al-Meghari, ‘Up to this moment, the Sufa crossing has not gotten back to normal. For the past five years, we have been waiting entry of at least 72-thousand tons of concrete that’s been held up on the Israeli side of the border.’
The Sufa reopening comes just two days after Israel sealed off a major commercial crossing in southeastern Gaza. Since then, truck drivers have been on strike at the borders and displaced Palestinians who need the concrete to rebuild their homes have been protesting.