All Trade Halted

The Israel Customs Authority has directed all importers who do business with Gaza to stop transfering all goods to the Karni border crossing immediately. The significance of this order is the cessation of all imported items into the Gaza Strip.

In general, dozens of containers of goods move through the transfer points every day. Most of the goods arrive by sea, through the Ashdod port.

The management of the customs authority explained that its decision is based on the fact that the main gateway for such items, Karni, has been closed until further notice.

The decision will keep the goods from piling up at the border crossing. The imports from overseas will be stored in bonded warehouses in the Ashdod port.

This week 4,600 trucks had been expected to pass through the Karni crossing, according to figures from the Israel Airports Authority, which manages the crossings into Gaza. Some 3,600 were expected to depart Israel for Gaza, with the remaining 1,000 going in the opposite direction.

The imports in question range from expensive electronic items to cheap clothing and toys. Israeli goods entering Gaza are mostly building materials such as steel and cement, which make up two-thirds of all imports, and the rest is mostly food and agricultural products, such as wheat, sugar and flour.

The value of all these goods is estimated at about NIS 3 billion a year.