The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip was reopened by Israel for the transfer of supplies on Sunday. The crossing was closed last week following a serious flare-up in rocket attacks into Israeli territory from Gaza.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Saturday gave the approval to open the crossing after receiving a government recommendation to do so in order to ease the acute fuel shortage in Gaza. Israel is to begin transferring on Sunday 500,000 liters of diesel and gasoline, 160 tons of cooking gas, and 250,000 liters of diesel for Gaza’s main power plant, Ynet news reported.
The Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has seen intense fuel and electricity shortages in recent months as Egypt’s interim military government has engaged in a systematic campaign to close the extensive network of smuggling tunnels which once connected Gaza to the Sinai peninsula.
Last week, over 60 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, an sudden escalation claimed by Iran-backed Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad. After an Israeli response in the form of a series IAF airstrikes, the fragile quiet returned to the border area.
The Kerem Shalom crossing, currently Israel’s only active crossing point into Gaza, is primarily used to ferry basic supplies into the Strip. It is frequently closed in response to a new round of violence or rocket attacks.