Israel's Defense Minister Orders Gaza Border Crossing Re-opened

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Erez border crossing between Israel and Gaza
Erez border crossing between Israel and GazaCredit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Sunday that the Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip will be re-opened Monday.

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"Due to the calm that has been maintained over the past week and the significant decline in escurity events," Lieberman instructed, after consulting the IDF, the Shin Bet, the National Security Council and the coordinator of government activities in the territories 

The Erez crossing, situated along the northern part of the Strip, is used for the movement of people between the Strip and Israel.

Israel recently reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, the commercial crossing through which fuel, gas and other provisions are passed into the coastal enclave.

The crossing had been closed due to the hostilities that erupted between Israel and the Palestinians after several weeks throughout which Israel's south was targeted by incessant rocket fire.

Sources in the defense establishment told Haaretz after the closure of the crossing that it was a symbolic move that had no significant impact on the daily routine in Gaza and was deliberately chosen not to harm the ceasefire agreement with Hamas. In the first seven months of 2018, 58,838 movements were recorded – an average of about 336 per day – when the same person entered and exited twice. About 60 percent of the people crossing were patients whose entry had not been stopped, and another 30 percent are UN personnel, aid organizations, diplomats and journalists who were also allowed to continue.

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