Ma’an/No change to Gaza blockade since ceasefire

SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-There have been no changes to restrictions on Gaza’s crossings since a ceasefire agreement went into effect at the end of August, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.

Maher al-Tabba, director of public and media relations at Gaza’s chamber of commerce, said the Kerem Shalom operates with the same restrictions as before Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
Around 3,700 trucks have entered the besieged enclave between Aug 28. and Sept. 15, almost a third of which were aid trucks.
Over 1,400 tons of cement entered Gaza between Sept. 2 – 15 to be used in internationally funded projects initiated before the conflict.
Unemployment rates are expected to surpass 55 percent in the near future, al-Tabba added.
In early September, Maria Jose Torres, deputy head of office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory branch of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said no changes had been made at the Erez or Kerem Shalom crossings.
“We were expecting that the agreement of the ceasefire would have some kind of timeline for easing and lifting the blockade but so far we have nothing publicly. There might be something we are not aware of,” she added.
Following weeks of Egyptian-brokered negotiations, Israel and Hamas agreed to halt their fire in Gaza on Aug. 26 after 50 days, their deadliest confrontation in years.
The indirect talks are set to resume mid-September to discuss longer-term issues.

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