Israel shuts Gaza's only goods crossing

Israel shuts Gaza's only goods crossing
Kerem Shalom is the only crossing open to transport goods into and out of Israeli-blockaded Gaza, including fuel and food.
2 min read
The Kerem Shalom crossing where goods arrive in Gaza [Getty]
The only goods crossing between Gaza and Israel was closed until further notice on Saturday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, after Palestinian protesters reportedly ransacked it.

According to the Israeli army, the Palestinian side of Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza was badly damaged by dozens of demonstrators late on Friday during a day of protests along the border.

One Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces earlier in the day, taking to 53 the number of Palestinians killed since Great Return March protests began on March 30.

"The crossing will remain closed until the damages caused by the riots are repaired and will reopen in accordance with a situation assessment," an army statement said, saying the fuel terminal at the crossing had been rendered "totally unusable".

It accused the protesters of being "under the auspices of Hamas", the Islamist group that runs the Gaza strip, without providing evidence.

The Palestinian body in charge of coordination at the crossing confirmed the closure.

Explainer: Life in Gaza under Israel's blockade

Kerem Shalom is the only crossing open to transport goods into and out of Gaza, including fuel and food.

A separate people crossing in northern Gaza remains open.

Separately Egypt opened its border crossing with Gaza - the only one not with Israel - for four days from Saturday.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated territories on the planet, with two million Palestinians crammed into just 362 square kilometres – and unable to leave.

Since 1967, the Gaza Strip has been occupied in much the same way the West Bank is today, with Israeli military bases and settlements littering the territory.

The UN has warned that Gaza would be "unliveable" by 2020 due to Israel's land and sea blockade, which began after Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected to protest along the Israeli border on Monday against the moving of the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.