A truck loaded with goods drives in Gaza, after entering from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing. AFP PHOTO/SAID KHATIB
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Nearly a week after a cease-fire agreement that was believed to include the partial lifting of the blockade on Gaza, no restrictions have been eased, humanitarian workers and border guards say.While the exact terms of the cease-fire agreement, reached last week between Israel and various Palestinian factions, have not been released, it was widely reported that Israel had committed to easing its border sanctions in exchange for a cessation of hostilities, while Egypt, too, was expected to ease its blockade.Though many of the most contentious issues were left for further negotiations due to take place in three weeks, humanitarian workers were hopeful aid and other access policies would be eased quickly.Yet at the three main crossings – the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Israel and the Rafah crossing into Egypt – the prewar policies have remained in place.In November 2012, following eight days of fighting, an agreement was struck between Hamas and Israel that was supposed to ease the blockade.Following the agreement, border policies were briefly eased, and Palestinians in Gaza had freer movement both to Egypt and Israel.WFP's Kent said food items had been granted access relatively easily by the Israeli authorities throughout the conflict, with an average of one or two days' wait at the crossings.
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