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Israel: Karni crossing to remain shut till Hamas rules
02-10-2010, 08:33 PM,
Israel: Karni crossing to remain shut till Hamas rules
Quote:Israeli army officials say the principal cargo terminal into the blockaded Gaza Strip will not reopen as long as Hamas is in power in the Palestinian coastal enclave.

The major Israeli daily Ha'aretz quotes unnamed army officials in a Wednesday article as saying that the Karni border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip was not slated to reopen in a near future.

"The Karni crossing won't resume operating …at least not as long as Hamas controls the Strip," said one of the officials.

Karni was formerly the main cargo crossing into Gaza but has been closed by Israeli authorities since June 2007, when Hamas had to concentrate its forces in the coastal sliver after a coup by the rival Fatah Party.

The Tel Aviv regime now favors to keep Karni closed, claiming high risk of attacks on Israeli positions through the crossing and its 'inability' to coordinate operations with Hamas.

The army has been fortifying the depot, explaining that the border terminal is located near Gaza City's Sajiyeh neighborhood and thus prone to Palestinian sniper fire and underground tunnels.

The main transit route into Gaza is currently the farther Kerem Shalom crossing, which is more difficult for the Palestinians to access.

The years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip has pushed the 1.5 million Palestinians in the impoverished territory — almost half of whom depend on food aid handouts — on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.

Israel refuses to ease the siege despite mounting condemnations by the international community an human rights groups against the collective punishment of the Palestinians and hindering the transport of food, fuel and other basic needs into Gaza.
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