Middle East

Israel reopens Gaza border crossing

A Palestinian refugee rests next to a flour sack received from United Nations Relief and Works Agency inside a United Nations food distribution centre in Gaza City April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel reopened a goods crossing into the Gaza Strip on Friday, officials said, after closing it several days earlier in response to rocket fire from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

"Kerem Shalom crossing was reopened this morning," said Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry unit responsible for all civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories.

The crossing "doesn't normally function on Friday but we opened it especially to allow the transport of goods blocked since its closure on Monday," he added.

A rocket fired from Gaza crashed into southern Israel on Sunday, as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. It struck an uninhabited part of the Negev desert, causing no damage or casualties.

The UN expressed "serious concern" on Wednesday at the impact of Israeli restrictions on the transfer of goods to civilian populations, particularly the Kerem Shalom closure.

"These measures are resulting in the depletion of... essential supplies, including basic foodstuffs and cooking gas, and undermine the livelihoods and rights of many vulnerable Gazan families," UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories James W Rawley said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim for Sunday's rocket, but hardline Salafist militants in Gaza claimed similar attacks the previous week, which were met with Israeli air strikes that caused no damage or casualties.

Rockets were fired at Israel during a visit to the region by US President Barack Obama in March.





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