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Gaza Drivers on Strike over Crossing Closure

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TEHRAN, March 7 (ICANA) – The union of commercial transportation drivers went on strike in front of the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in southern Gaza.
Monday, March 07, 2011 10:09:16 AM
Gaza Drivers on Strike over Crossing Closure

The union is threatening to shutdown the Kerem Shalom crossing in protest over the closure of another crossing. Israel authorities permanently closed the Karni crossing, leaving Kerem Shalom as the only commercial crossing open to transport goods into the coastal enclave.

Before the Hamas movement won parliamentary elections in 2006 in Gaza, there were five crossings into the territory. Israel has since closed the other crossings to put pressure on Hamas.

The Karni crossing had the largest capacity and was the major entry point for goods before being closed. Gazans complain that the Kerem Shalom crossing is not large enough to provide enough goods for the whole population.

In addition, drivers are angry over working conditions at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The Israeli based Legal Center for freedom of Movement said last week that closing the Karni Crossing will further restrict the entry of necessary tools and materials and will therefore hamper the ability of Palestinian residents of Gaza to engage in dignified, productive work.

According to the Al-Meezan center for human rights, with this latest move Israel is tightening the suffocating siege on the strip and this will worsen the already disastrous humanitarian situation.

Rights groups maintain that such moves prove Israel has been misleading the world with claims it has eased the Gaza blockade which is a violation of international law.

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