After 8 years, Israel to open Gaza’s Erez Crossing to commerce

Defense minister says move ‘will not happen tomorrow or the day after,’ but will help more goods enter Palestinian territory

Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Monday announced the reopening of one of the main crossing points into the Palestinian Gaza Strip, which has been closed to commercial traffic for at least eight years.

However, he did not give a date for the reopening of the Erez Crossing in the north of the territory, saying only that this “will not happen tomorrow or the day after.”

“It is in our interests that a significant amount of truckloads of food continues to go to Gaza,” a spokesman for Ya’alon said in a statement.

“It is our interest that Gazans live in dignity. Both from a humanitarian point of view and because this is a way to protect the peace, in addition to existing security deterrents.”

Erez is currently only used for pedestrian traffic, with vehicles unable to traverse the crossing.

Ya’alon spoke of the necessity to ease congestion at the Kerem Shalom Crossing in the south, currently the only conduit for goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

He said that “at least half of what currently goes via Kerem Shalom” will be redirected to Erez, on the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

[mappress mapid=”5662″]

According to the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry body responsible for the crossings, 513 trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Israel imposed a tight air, sea and land blockade on Gaza in 2006, designed to prevent the Islamist Hamas movement that controls the territory from rearming.

Bordered to the north and east by Israel and with the Mediterranean Sea to its west, the enclave is also subjected to an Egyptian blockade to the south.

Israel controls all but one of the crossing points with Gaza — the Rafah Crossing into Egypt.

The Erez Crossing was closed to the passage of goods in 2008.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.