Israel reopens people, goods crossings to Gaza

File photo of workers arranging packages of goods ahead of their transfer to the Gaza Strip, inside the Kerem Shalom border crossing terminal between Israel and Gaza Strip, on Aug 15, 2018.
File photo of workers arranging packages of goods ahead of their transfer to the Gaza Strip, inside the Kerem Shalom border crossing terminal between Israel and Gaza Strip, on Aug 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel ordered the country's goods and people border crossings with Gaza to be opened on Sunday (Oct 21), just four days after shuttering them following a Palestinian rocket attack that sparked retaliatory strikes.

"The decision comes after a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend and efforts (militant Gaza rulers) Hamas made to restrain" demonstrators, a statement from Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office read.

Last Wednesday, Mr Lieberman had ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom goods crossing and the Erez crossing for people, after a rocket from the Palestinian territory hit a home in southern Israel, prompting the Jewish state to strike 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.

Hamas disavowed the launch and said it was investigating the incident, as fears of a new war rose.

Near daily protests along the border since March 30 against Israel's crippling 11-year blockade of the impoverished enclave have sparked repeated clashes with the army.

Last Friday, thousands again gathered for protests in northern Gaza, but demonstrators largely remained at least 100m from the border.

Hamas officials were seen discouraging protesters from nearing the fence.

 

Last Wednesday, Israel also suspended the delivery of fuel for the Palestinian territory's power plant that had been trucked daily into Gaza under a deal brokered by the United Nations.

"The decision on the renewal of the fuel from Qatar has been put off for the time being, and will be examined in a number of days based on the events," the Sunday statement from Mr Lieberman said.