Israel keeps Gaza crossings closed over truce violations
Israel kept key goods crossings into the Gaza Strip closed for a third day running Friday, in response to violations of a one-week-old, fragile truce, reported dpa.
Only the Nahal Oz fuel crossing would reopen Friday for several hours, to allow in some diesel and cooking gas, an Israeli Defence Ministry official said.
But the key Sufa and Karni crossings, closed since Wednesday in response to rocket attacks, would remain shut until further notice, Major Peter Lerner told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
He said they may reopen either Saturday or Sunday, if no further rockets were fired from the strip in violation of the truce.
"We are assessing the situation. The problem is the rockets that are being fired from Gaza and this is what is dictating the opening of the crossings," he said.
The last humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
But militants fired several rockets into southern Israel on Wednesday and Thursday, responding to an Israeli arrest raid in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, in which a senior Islamic Jihad militant and his roommate were killed.
The Israeli military said the two were killed in an exchange of fire, when the militant, who it said was planning attacks against Israel, was resisting arrest.
The West Bank is not included in the truce which took effect in Gaza early Thursday last week. But the Islamic Jihad had vowed to avenge operations in the West Bank also from Gaza.
The fragile Gaza truce took effect after months of deadly violence and difficult, Egyptian-led indirect negotiations between Israel and the radical Islamic Hamas movement ruling the strip.
Israel has pledged to ease its stringent economic blockade of the strip if the rocket and mortar attacks from the area stop.
But it has conditioned the complete lifting of closure, including the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, on the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held captive in Gaza for the past two years.