Israel Opens Gaza Border Crossing

Two weeks after it was closed, the *Erez* border crossing to the Gaza Strip reopened today. Even as Hamas continues to threaten

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
As of today, 12,000 residents of the Gaza Strip will be allowed to work in Israel once the border crossing has been reopened. Photo: Attia Muhammed/Flash90

On May 3, the crossings to the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority-controlled territories in Judea and Samaria were closed to mark Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day. It was planned to reopen the Erez crossing already on May 6th.

But then, at the end of Independence Day, the deadly terrorist attack in Elad occurred, and the crossing to the Gaza Strip remained closed. As a result, 12,000 residents of the Gaza Strip were prevented from entering Israel to work.

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the reopening of the border crossing last night.

“Civilian activities will be possible again according to the situation and with a view to maintaining security,” read a COGAT statement.

Israel’s Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar was critical of the decision.

“The re-entry of Gaza workers into Israel at this time is neither justified nor right,” Sa’ar said. “Hamas, which engages in constant terror and incitement, must not feel safe.”

Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar inciting the masses against Israel. Photo: Attia Muhammed/Flash90

Hamas leader is not afraid

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, remains confident. On Saturday, he visited Al Jazeera’s studios in Gaza City and responded to reports from Israel that spoke of his possible assassination.

“I’m not hiding,” Sinwar said. “We have no regard for Israel.” He went on to say that “the crimes of the occupation would not be forgotten,” and accused Israel of the murder of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

See: Does Anyone Actually Care About Shireen Abu Akleh?

Hamas, meanwhile, warned Jews against entering the Temple Mount on Sunday. Today the Palestinians celebrate what is known as Nakba Day, which translates as “the day of disaster or calamity,” which is observed on May 15, one day after Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and commemorates the displacement of some 700,000 Arab residents of the British Mandate area.

Hamas went on to warn that “breaking into” the Al Aqsa Mosque would constitute “a dangerous escalation and emotional provocation” for Muslims and lead to open conflict with Israel.

The Arab population in Israel, Judea and Samaria was urged to flock to the Al Aqsa Mosque to “thwart the occupation’s plans.”

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