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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Israel reopens Kerem Shalom crossing, relieving pressure on Gaza fuel supplies

The crossing was closed in July following protests on the border

The Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip is a vital lifeline for fuel, medicines, food and goods for Palestinians. Reuters
The Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip is a vital lifeline for fuel, medicines, food and goods for Palestinians. Reuters

Israel has reopened its only goods crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, weeks after it was closed following cross-border clashes.

Dozens of trucks carrying various goods, including desperately needed fuel, began passing into the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah was closed in July by Israel after months of tension followed by border skirmishes.

The crossing is an essential lifeline for the embargoed strip and is the main inroad for diesel fuel used to run generators in hospitals and other key facilities.

Several hospitals have been forced to reduce services or close due to lack of fuel to run generators. Medicines have also been in short supply, with people suffering long-term health complaints unable to maintain treatment.

Both Israel and Palestinian officials confirmed the crossing had reopened.

The weekly protests started after the United States announced it was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and have been fuelled by the despair of Gaza's two million residents.

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