Kerem Shalom shuts down for the day, Rafah opens to allow pilgrims’ return

Kerem Shalom after the breach attmept. Photo: Border& Passage central department

Kerem Shalom after the breach attempt. Photo: Border& Passage central department

September 26, 2016. Kerem Shalom Crossing reopened Thursday after shutting down for one day following an attempt to breach the fence from the Palestinian side. Rafah Crossing opened for three days last week to allow pilgrims who travelled from Gaza to Mecca earlier in the month to return.

Kerem Shalom was shut for an entire day last week. The Israeli authorities presumably ordered the shut down after an attempt had been made to breach the fence from the Palestinian side and remove forklifts the night before. According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli authorities detected the incident via security cameras. On the following morning (September 22), Palestinian crossing personnel were informed that the crossing would be shut down so that an inspection of the damage could be carried out. An unknown number of trucks that arrived at the crossing from Israel Thursday were turned away, while the fence on the Palestinian side was repaired and the forklifts were returned. The crossing operated normally today.

Rafah Crossing, between Gaza and Egypt, opened from Wednesday to Friday allowing one-way traffic into Gaza for pilgrims returning from Mecca. According to Palestinian sources, due to increased security on the Egyptian side, the pilgrims waited for many hours at the crossing yesterday, entering Gaza only late at night.

Rafah Crossing opened to allow pilgrims to travel to Mecca from August 30 to September 1, when 2,332 people exited.