Israeli bulldozers started on Monday to demolish a commercial border crossing to build a barrier along the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Israeli forces began to bulldoze Al-Mentar (Karni) crossing east of Gaza, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the site.
The cargo terminal was first opened in 1994 to allow Palestinian merchants to import and export goods.
Israel, however, closed the crossing in 2011, on the grounds that it was used by Palestinians to stage attacks against Israelis.
Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said a barrier will be built in the terminal’s place “to strengthen the defense line” along the Gaza border.
The Kerem Shalom crossing is currently Gaza’s only functioning commercial terminal.
Israel had closed three commercial terminals with the Gaza Strip since 2006 amid a years-long blockade on the Palestinian seaside enclave.
Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli siege that continues to deprive its inhabitants of many essential commodities, including food, fuel, medicine, and building materials.
(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)