Military

Israel opens Gaza checkpoints for humanitarian traffic

RIA Novosti

09/12/2008 14:07 GAZA, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Israel opened at least two border crossings to allow trucks with humanitarian cargo to enter Gaza on Tuesday, said Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official who coordinates supplies into the territory.

Some 20 trucks with humanitarian aid and 25 with commercial loads are waiting to enter southern Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, while a limited amount of wheat and cattle feed will be allowed into Gaza via the Karni crossing.

Israel is also expected to open the Nahal Oz border terminal for fuel supplies to Gaza's sole power plant.

Israel opened its border crossings with Gaza last Thursday, but sealed it a day later following intensified rocket attacks from Palestinian militants. At least two rockets landed in Israel on Tuesday, bringing to 250 the total number launched into Israeli territory since November 4.

Meanwhile, a boat with 11 people onboard, including journalists, a surgeon and human rights activists, left the southern Cypriot port city of Larnaka on Tuesday in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. The 20-meter (65-foot) "Dignity" has 1 metric ton of medical supplies and high-protein baby formula onboard.

"We are unarmed civilians carrying desperately needed supplies to other unarmed civilians," delegation leader Lubna Masarwa said in a statement released before the departure.

Earlier this month, Al-Marwa, a Libyan vessel with 3 tons of humanitarian cargo for Gaza onboard, was intercepted by Israel and escorted to Egyptian territorial waters.



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