Israel reopens 2 crossings with Gaza Strip after 8-day closure

Israel reopens 2 crossings with Gaza Strip after 8-day closure

GAZA, (Rahnuma): Israel reopened two crossings with the Gaza Strip on Sunday after eight days of closure following a recent round of tension with Palestinian factions, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian side that it decided to reopen the crossings of Kerem Shalom in southern Gaza Strip and Erez in the north, said Raed Fatouh, chief of goods coordination between the Gaza Strip and Israel, in a press statement.

On Friday, Israel extended the fishing zone to 12 nautical miles, after a ban for six days.

Israel public radio said “the expansion of the fishing zone came as a step to implement the understandings of truce between Israel and Palestinian factions.”

Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations succeeded to mediate a truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups, which included the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, ending two days of military escalations between the two sides.

The Israeli radio reported on Sunday morning that Qatari Ambassador to Palestine Mohammed al-Ammadi and UN peace envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov are expected to arrive in Gaza within two days to hand over a grant of 30 million U.S. dollars to Hamas and oversee the distribution.

On May 4, Israel announced the closure of the crossings and prevented the fishermen from sailing off the coast of the Gaza Strip, during the tensions between Israel and Palestinian factions.

Israel imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip right after Hamas movement had violently seized control of the enclave in 2007. Since then, the economy in the enclave has been deteriorating, with a hard living situation for its people.

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