Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gazans urge EU to fund Abu Salem crossing after Israel's closure of 3 others

PressTV - Gazans urge EU to fund Abu Salem crossing:

Wed May 11, 2011 7:51PM
Yousef al-Helou, Press TV, Gaza

"Representatives of the private sector in Gaza, have urged the European Union to support and finance the development of Karm Abu Salem crossing in southern Gaza.

The crossing is the only commercial terminal after the closure of 3 other crossings in recent months. Gazan businessmen say the territory needs at least 700 trucks daily, but the maximum number of trucks allowed in does not exceed 300. This is far below what the needs of the population call for.

Israel maintains its restrictions on the import of necessary construction materials such as cement and gravel, citing security concerns. However, limited quantities of materials for projects are allowed in and supervised by international agencies such as UNRWA.

In an attempt to ease the global pressure over the long-running blockade, Israel has raised the idea of an artificial island with sea and air ports off Gaza.

Tel Aviv has been touting the project as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the besieged enclave. Israelis expect the project to be managed by an international force for at least 100 years.

The plan has been dismissed by Palestinians and rights groups as 'pure fantasy' and an attempt to 'divert attention away from the real problems of Gaza under the Israeli siege'.

Palestinians here have lost faith in the ability of international institutions to help end the siege. But they can at least count on the support and assistance of international peace and human rights activists, some of whom are expected to reach Gaza by sea in June.

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