Only Gaza-Israel goods crossing closed after violent protest

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


The only goods crossing between Gaza and Israel was closed until further notice Saturday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, after Palestinian protesters ransacked it.

The Palestinian side of Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza was badly damaged by dozens of demonstrators late Friday during a day of protests along the border, the Israeli army said.

The Israeli side of the crossing, several hundred metres away, was not breached.

"The crossing will remain closed until the damages caused by the riots are repaired and will reopen in accordance with a situation assessment," an army statement said, saying the fuel terminal at the crossing had been rendered "totally unusable".

It accused the protesters of being "under the auspices of Hamas", the Islamist group that runs the Gaza strip, without providing evidence.

The Palestinian body in charge of coordination at the crossing confirmed the closure.

Kerem Shalom is the only crossing open to transport goods into and out of Gaza, including fuel and food.

A separate people crossing in northern Gaza remains open.

Separately Egypt opened its border crossing with Gaza -- the only one not with Israel -- for four days Saturday.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected to protest along the Israeli border Monday against the moving of the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.