Sunday, June 22, 2008

Israel opens Gaza border crossings

Tel Aviv_(dpa) _ Israel opened two crossing points into the Gaza Strip Sunday, three days after a six-month truce with Palestinian militants in the salient went into effect.
An Israeli spokesman said that in addition, a third crossing point would be opened soon.
The opening of the crossing points is one of the provisions of the truce, which began Thursday at 0300 GMT and ended months of violence between the sides.
Israel had imposed a blockade on the Strip in response to near-daily rocket and mortar attacks from the enclave at its southern towns and villages. It had further tightened the stranglehold after Hamas seized sole control of Gaza in June 2007.
However, Israel's High Court was slated Sunday to hear a petition against the opening of the crossings, submitted by the parents of an Israeli soldier kept captive in the Strip for two years after being snatched in a cross-border raid.
The parents of Corporal Gilad Shalit are demanding that the crossings stay closed until their son is freed, and maintain that opening them is a violation of a government commitment.

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