Main Gaza goods crossing reopened

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Israel has reopened part of the main commercial crossing with the Gaza Strip for the first time since Hamas seized control of the territory two weeks ago.

An Israeli military spokesman said a small area of the Karni crossing was opened to send wheat on conveyor belts to the Palestinian side.

He said it might be possible to extend the operations on Friday.

The wheat will be processed in Gaza and then distributed by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa).

UN spokesman Christopher Gunness said he hoped the crossing would be opened permanently to allow further goods into Gaza.


Israel has allowed humanitarian aid into Gaza through smaller crossings in co-operation with Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

But the radical Islamists of Hamas control the streets within Gaza after ousting pro-Fatah security forces.

They claimed Fatah was about to lead a coup against a democratically-elected government led by Hamas.

Israel has sealed off Gaza from the outside world since the takeover, because Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The move has raised alarms about the humanitarian impact on Gaza's largely impoverished 1.5 million inhabitants.

Gaza's borders have been closed for long periods since the Israeli withdrawal from the strip in 2005.