Kerem Shalom Crossing
Kerem Shalom Crossing is located in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli-Palestinian-Egyptian border, 3.6 km from the Rafah crossing.
After the implementation of the “disengagement” plan in 2005, Kerem Shalom was used as an alternative to Rafah for the transfer of humanitarian goods into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Until May 2007, an average of 20 trucks went through Kerem Shalom each day, carrying humanitarian goods which came from or via Egypt. After Karni was closed in 2007, Sufa Crossing in 2008, Nahal Oz in 2010 and Karni’s conveyer belt in 2011, Kerem Shalom became the only crossing for transfer of goods from Israel to the Gaza Strip. Today, among other goods, food products, fuel, vehicles, agricultural equipment and humanitarian goods are transferred through Kerem Shalom.
From June 2007 to June 2010, a monthly average of approximately 2,400 truckloads of goods entered Gaza from Israel through Kerem Shalom and the conveyor belt at Karni. This compares to 10,400 trucks per month that entered the Gaza Strip in 2005 through all the crossings. Until the end of 2009, Israel allowed the transfer of no more than several dozen kinds of goods into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Since the beginning of 2010, the variety of goods Israel has allowed into the Gaza Strip has gradually increased, especially following the flotilla incident and the Israeli government’s announcement in June 2010 of the “easing” of the closure.
In July 2010, Israel also published a list of goods forbidden to enter the Gaza Strip, which it defines as dual use (suitable for both civilian and military uses). Other than these, all goods are cleared for entry into Gaza, including all types of food.
Since that declaration, Israel has also undertaken to expand and develop the Kerem Shalom crossing so that its capacity now reaches 350 trucks per day, compared to a previous capacity of around 150 before the declaration. In practice, since the easing of restrictions went into effect, an average of only 174 trucks a day entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom.
In December 2010, Israel also declared an easing on export restrictions from Gaza. Israel has since allowed an average of two trucks per day to exit Gaza through Kerem Shalom, compared to dozens per day that exited Gaza before June 2007 and 400 as promised in the Agreement on Movement and Access. The volume of goods which exits in practice is minimal because of the ongoing and sweeping prohibition on marketing Gaza-made goods to destinations where the vast majority of these goods had been marketed for four decades – Israel and the West Bank.