Israel lifts border crossing and fishing restrictions on Gaza: officials

Israel lifts border crossing and fishing restrictions on Gaza: officials
Israel will re-open two border crossings and Gaza's fishing zone after they were closed in response to attacks from the enclave.
2 min read
27 February, 2020
Israel's decision is "contingent on the continued maintenance of security and stability" in Gaza [Getty]
Israel announced Wednesday it will lift sanctions on the Gaza Strip by reopening border crossings and lifting fishing restrictions, according to a statement by an Israeli military unit. 

Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities previously announced the closures of two border crossings - Erez and Kerem Shalom - and Gaza's fishing zone on Monday.

The decision followed two days of "a continuous barrage of rockets" launched from Gaza at Israel, in addition to an "escalation of attempted terror attacks", COGAT said.
Earlier this month, Israel imposed sanctions after projectiles were launched in the enclave following last month's announcement of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan.

COGAT announced its decision to ease the sanctions on Wednesday.

"After completed evaluations of the security situation, the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings will resume routine operations beginning [Thursday] morning," COGAT stated. "The Gaza fishing zone will also reopen and be returned to 15 nautical miles."

The unit went on to specify that the measures' implementation is "contingent on the continued maintenance of security and stability for the benefit of all residents of the region".

Tensions and clashes between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories have flared up since Trump unveiled the so-called "Deal of the Century".

The deal is seen by Palestinians as a clear capitulation to the demands of the Israeli right-wing, giving Israel the green light to annex large parts of the West Bank, including settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

Read more: Israel to form 'anti-Palestinian resistance force' in occupied West Bank

The plan would give the Palestinians limited autonomy in a small archipelago of territory with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but only if they meet the nearly impossible conditions set out by Trump.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood by Trump's side as he unveiled the deal at the White House last month, has leveraged his enthusiasm for the plan to entice pro-settler votes in the upcoming March election.

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