UN Secretary-General welcomes reopening of Gaza crossings

NEW YORK, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed on Wednesday the Israeli decision to reopen Karm Abu Salem/Kerem Shalom commercial crossing with Gaza to its full operating capacity that allowed resumption of movement of badly needed goods, fuel and construction material into Gaza after closing it since July 9, as well as expanding the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza.

A statement attributed to the spokesman for the Secretary-General said Guterres also welcomed efforts to prevent an outbreak of a new conflict between Gaza and Israel.

The Secretary-General is encouraged to see that those concerned have responded to calls to avoid the devastating impact of yet another conflict on the civilian population in and around Gaza, said the spokesman, adding, The Secretary-General calls on all parties to support the efforts of UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and Egypt to avoid an escalation and address all humanitarian issues in Gaza and the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.

Israel closed the crossings and reduced the fishing zone to three nautical miles to punish Gaza’s two million population, half of them children, for responding to Israeli attacks and killings that left a number of Gazans dead in the Israeli airstrikes, including a pregnant mother and her 18-month old toddler, and turning into rubble a five-story cultural center in the heart of Gaza City.

It reopened Karm Abu Salem crossing on Wednesday and allowed fishing up to nine nautical miles in the south and six in the north of Gaza after a period of relative calm has been observed in the area following several weeks of cross border attacks.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency