Goods Flow Into Gaza Again

Yesterday the Israeli defence minister announced that Israel would open the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza if the relative calm of recent days continues. It had been closed recently for all but humanitarian deliveries.

Avigdor Lieberman with security officialsAvigdor Lieberman in a meeting with security officials

Avigdor Lieberman also said that the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast would be extended to 17km again.

Both restrictions had been imposed by Israel in response to the attacks by Gazans along the border, including the firing of more than 180 rockets at Israel just last week.

Today both moves became reality as the ‘relative calm’ held overnight, and goods started to flow again from 09:00 local time. Thus, after just 4 days of quite on the border, Israel’s restrictions were lifted with the desire to send “a clear message to the residents of the Gaza Strip that peace and quiet are worthwhile, but violence is not.”

Indeed, Avigdor Lieberman emphasised that message with a “Calm pays, violence doesn’t” post in Arabic on the Facebook page of Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians.

He explained that:

“I differentiate between the Hamas leadership and the ordinary residents of the Gaza Strip.
Therefore, I decided to reopen the Kerem Shalom Crossing and extend the fishing area back
to 9 nautical miles ... The residents of Gaza have much to gain when the citizens of Israel
enjoy peace and security, and much to lose when quiet is disturbed.”