Israel has imposed new rules on trucks taking goods into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, the only commercial border post with the territory, Palsawa has reported. The new rules were applied from Wednesday morning.
According to a local economic media source, the Israeli police set up a new checkpoint at the entrance to the crossing and insisted that the payload of every truck must not exceed 36 tons. The previous limit was 40 tons. The change, noted the source, will mean that the price of all goods will increase, creating even more hardship for the beleaguered Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The goods most affected will be construction materials, which are essential for the reconstruction of the enclave after the destruction caused by Israel’s 2014 military offensive. An increase of around $4.50 per ton of cement is expected, with the volume of cement allowed through being reduced by 10 per cent.
It is also anticipated that the movement of goods at Kerem Shalom will be worse during 2016 than it was this year, especially if the Israelis insist on enforcing the new limits.