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Israel keeps main Gaza crossings closed as part of new policy

A Palestinian officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing with Israel near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on March 15, 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing on 15 March 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

An Israeli security source revealed yesterday that occupation forces have left the Karm Abu Salem and Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossings closed as part of a new policy on dealing with the Gaza Strip, news agencies reported.

The Israeli security source reported that the two crossings would remain closed until further notice, pointing out that occupation authorities have been blocking the entry of any food or other commercial goods to Gaza.

According to the source, people and the bodies of those who died undergoing treatment in Israeli hospitals are also being stopped from entering the besieged Strip.

Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising...- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising…- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz was reported by Anadolu saying that the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip is conditional on reaching a settlement on the return of missing Israeli soldiers.

"We must condition development and reconstruction [in Gaza] not only on a calm but also on the return of soldiers' bodies and civilians held hostage in Gaza," Gantz said in an interview with Kan.

Gantz said that after the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza, there was now a chance to move forward with the issue of the missing Israeli soldiers.

On Friday, an Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel came into effect, putting an end to 11 days of fighting.

However, Gantz said senior Hamas leaders, including the head of the group's political wing in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and commander of the group's military wing Mohammad Deif were still assassination targets.

At least 279 Palestinians were killed, including 69 children and 40 women, and 1,910 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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