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Israel bulldozes Gaza commercial terminal to build barrier

Israeli soldiers position their tank near the Karni crossing on the eastern entrance of Gaza City 24 October 2000. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli soldiers position their tank near the Karni crossing on the eastern entrance of Gaza City 24 October 2000. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli bulldozers started, on Monday, to demolish a commercial border crossing with the Gaza Strip to build a barrier along the border with the Palestinian Territory, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Israeli forces began to bulldoze Al-Mentar (Karni) crossing east of Gaza, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the site.

READ: UN 'outrage' was empty words to describe an empty 'cavity' in Gaza

The cargo terminal was first opened in 1994 to allow Palestinian merchants to import and export goods.

Israel, however, closed the crossing in 2011, on the grounds that it was used by Palestinians to stage attacks against Israelis.

Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said a barrier will be built in the terminal's place "to strengthen the defence line" along the Gaza border.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is currently Gaza's only functioning commercial terminal.

Israel had closed three commercial terminals with the Gaza Strip since 2006 amid a years-long blockade on the Palestinian seaside enclave.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli siege that continues to deprive its inhabitants of many essential commodities, including food, fuel, medicine and building materials.

READ: Israel's ban on entry of medical equipment to Gaza puts patients at risk

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