Sunday, June 24, 2007
"GAZA, (PIC)-- An official source in the PA border crossings department has unveiled that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas asked the Israeli occupation government not to open crossings between Gaza Strip and the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands.
The step was obviously meant to tighten the economic blockade on Gaza Strip and the cash-strapped Palestinian people in the tiny Strip.
The local Palestine newspaper quoted the official as affirming that Israeli officers in the liaison office informed them of their technical readiness to operate the terminals, but the action needs political decision.
The source, furthermore added, that the liaison office received information from the Israeli political echelon unveiling that Abbas asked the IOA not to operate the terminals for the time being.
According to the PA official, the Israelis informed him that once the PA leadership approved to operate the crossings, Israel will immediately do as it is ready to do so.
Abbas has dissolved the duly elected PA unity government, and appointed an emergency government after he suspended the PA constitution, rendering all his decrees “unconstitutional”.
Concerned Palestinian teams commissioned to manage the crossings on the Palestinian side received stern orders not to report to their works and to abandon those crossings till further notice, the official underlined.
But he warned that Abbas’s request will further worsen the already deteriorated economic condition in the tiny Strip to more than 18 months of wing-clipping international economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the USA.
In this regard, the official urged PA officials to spare the issue of the crossings any political disputes and rows, affirming that lives of millions of the Palestinian people will be at risk.
He noted that at least 150 trucks loaded with foodstuff and necessities for the Palestinian people used to enter Gaza Strip on daily basis, however it wasn’t enough; yet only 10 trucks were entering into the Strip now through the Sofa crossing, which, he added, will entail a catastrophe for the Gazans.
Meanwhile, the Rafah crossing will open Sunday to allow entry of more than 5,000 Palestinian citizens stranded at the Egyptian side of the terminal into the Strip, another PA official in the border crossings department revealed to the PIC correspondent in the area......"
A Related story:
Petition: Open Karni crossing immediately
"Adala, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice Sunday demanding that the Karni crossing between Israel and Gaza be opened immediately. The petition, filed by Adala's attorney Fatima al-Aju, said the closed crossing is a "vital route which can allow hundreds of tons of supplies through a day."......
"Israel's decision (to shut down the crossings) didn't take into consideration the implications losing a vital crossing like Karni may have on Gazans" al-Aju told Ynet Sunday. "Israel is in violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law," she added. "Even more so considering that the decision is an arbitrary, callous one."
"We're short on fresh supplies like bread and milk... if the crossings aren't opened soon, in two weeks there'll be nothing left," John Ging, director of UNWRA (United Nation Relief and Works Agency) operations in Gaza, told Ynet Saturday.
About 80 percent of Gazans, he added, depend on relief organizations."