Israel keeps Gaza goods crossing shut despite truce

GAZA (Reuters) – Israel kept a commercial crossing with Hamas-ruled Gaza shut for a seventh day Tuesday although a truce had stopped cross-border fighting, and a UN official said he was “extremely worried” essential supplies may run out.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides aid to more than two thirds of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million, said 172 truckloads of oil, sugar and flour were waiting to cross into the impoverished coastal territory.

Israel said it shut the crossings a week ago during a violent flare-up when Hamas militants fired an anti-tank rocket at a school bus, critically wounding an Israeli teen-ager, and Israel retaliated with air raids, killing 19 Palestinians.

The violence has subsided since Egyptian and UN mediators achieved an informal truce Sunday.

Israel has not yet reopened the terminal because of concern about security, an Israeli official said, adding that individual humanitarian cases were allowed into Israel at a separate crossing.

Christopher Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman, said he was “extremely worried” the commercial crossing at Kerem Shalom might not reopen before the Jewish… >>>

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