PressTV - Israel seals Gaza crossings terminal:
Tue Mar 1, 2011 10:19PM
Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Gaza
"The Karni crossing which is one of two commercial crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip will close permanently as of mid-March. The Karni crossing is used mainly for the transport of wheat, fodder and gravel into Gaza.
The crossing is located in at the northeastern end of the Gaza Strip and was opened in 1994 after the signing of the so-called Oslo peace Accords, in order to allow Palestinian merchants to export and import goods.
At present, the Karni crossing is open twice a week at most, and only limited amounts of goods are allowed into Gaza. After the closure, only the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in the far south of the coastal enclave will remain operating.
Israeli officials announced earlier that the closure is for security reasons but Palestinians don't think so. Before the Hamas movement won free and fair elections in 2007 in Gaza, there were five Israeli crossings into the territory. Israel has closed the other crossings as a method to put pressure on Hamas.
The Karni crossing has the largest capacity and is the major entry point for goods.
Hamas says that by closing the Karni crossing Israel is only demonstrating its true intentions and proves it is being deceitful in its claims that it is easing the suffocating siege.
According to monitoring agencies, Israel is currently allowing Gaza residents to receive just 3% of the construction materials needed to re-build the Strip, and Israel is only exporting 1% of the goods promised in earlier agreements.
Experts say the closure of the Karni commercial crossing will further deteriorate the situation in the Gaza Strip, which is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of some 1.5 million Palestinians in coastal enclave.
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