Israel to reopen Gaza terminal, extend fishing on Tuesday if quiet holds
JERUSALEM, July 22 (Reuters) - Israel will reopen Gaza's
main commercial crossing and expand its fishing zone on Tuesday
if a lull in cross-border tensions holds after a truce with the
enclave's dominant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the Israeli
defence minister said.
Israel shut the Kerem Shalom border terminal and reduced the
fishing zone to 11 km (6 miles) from 17 km (9 miles) on July 9
in response to fire-starting kites and helium balloons flown
over by Palestinians as part of weeks of border protests.
Hostilities escalated last week, with Palestinian gunfire
killing an Israeli soldier and Israel's military killing three
Hamas fighters and a fourth Palestinian. The violence subsided
on Saturday after Egypt and the United Nations mediated a truce.
"We saw, yesterday, what might have been the calmest day
since March 30," Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told
reporters on Sunday.
In weekly Gaza protests since then, at least 140
Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in what it
called border protection.
"If today and tomorrow see a continuation of the situation
as it was yesterday, then on Tuesday we will resume routine
activity here at Kerem Shalom (border terminal) and return the
fishing zone to the ranges previously in place."
Kerem Shalom is the main export-import conduit for the 2
million Palestinians of Gaza, which also borders Egypt.
During the terminal's closure, humanitarian aid was still
allowed through Lieberman said traffic slowed to about 140
trucks a day from some 1,000 to 1,100 trucks per day.
(Writing by Dan Williams; editing by Jason Neely)
First Published: 2018-07-22 10:04:54
Updated 2018-07-22 11:57:43
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