By Reut Cohen
B'nai Brith Canada
On Thursday, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that a photographer had captured images of deliveries into the Gaza strip arriving through the Erez crossing, which has been closed for the past nine years.
The Erez crossing has been restricted to individuals since 2007, with deliveries to Gaza arriving solely through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the north. Residents surrounding Kerem Shalom had been complaining about the heavy congestion caused by deliveries into the Gaza strip.
he Erez crossing is located at the northern border with Gaza and may facilitate more deliveries from Israeli cities such as the nearby Ashdod or Ashkelon.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a division of the Defence Ministry responsible for implementing policy in the Palestinian territories, confirmed that the Erez crossing had been opened for deliveries. The spokesperson told AFP that “this measure has been taken to facilitate the work of Palestinian importers and thus help the economy of the Gaza Strip.”
In May, former Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon had said that the Erez crossing would be opened to ease congestion at Kerem Shalom as well as aid the flow of goods into Gaza. Ya’alon resigned on May 20th, 2016, and has since been replaced by Avigdor Lieberman.