Template:Infobox bridge The Karni Crossing (Arabic: معبر كارني or معبر المنطار, Hebrew: מעבר קרני) is a cargo terminal on the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier. It is located in the north-eastern end of the Gaza Strip and was built in 1993 in order to allow Palestinian merchants to export and import goods. The Karni Crossing was also used by the residents of Netzarim since the Karni road was the only route to that isolated Israeli settlement on which Jewish travel was allowed after the 1994 implementation of the Oslo Accords. Unlike the Erez Crossing, which is managed by the Israel Defense Forces, Karni is managed by the Israel Airports Authority.
During the ongoing al-Aqsa Intifada, the Karni terminal has been attacked several times by Palestinian militants in either mortar attacks or frontal infantry assaults, forcing temporary shut-downs for repairs and enhancement of security procedures. Both Palestinians and Israelis have been killed in these attacks. As a passage point between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Karni crossing has been used for hostile activities by armed forces from both sides. Palestinian militants have used the Karni terminal to smuggle suicide bombers and explosive belts into Israel, the most notable successful suicide attack being in the Port of Ashdod bombing Israel also uses the crossing to transport tanks, soldiers and artillery into Gaza.
In 2006, the Israeli authorities closed the crossing for over 100 days, after the discovery of vast tunnelling from across the border to underneath the facility, meant to be filled with explosives and detonated. From September 2006 to June 2007, the crossing has been open daily save some brief closures due to Palestinian labour strikes.
The Karni Crossing was used for 'back-to-back' transfer in which merchandise and produce for the Israeli market or for export overseas is removed from a Palestinian truck and placed in an Israeli truck, or vice versa for incoming goods.
When Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, much of the equipment on the Palestinian side was destroyed, and the terminal was closed by the Israeli authorities ever since. The previous operators, who were affiliated with Fatah, have fled to the West Bank. Hamas has offered to bring Fatah back to Karni or hire a Turkish company to operate the Palestinian side, but Israel persistently refused to deal with Hamas, the de-facto authority in the Gaza Strip. On 25 June 2007, the UNWRA coordinator commended the IDF on moving humanitarian shipments to the secondary Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings, and hoped that Karni could be reopened soon as part of a longer-term solution.
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- ↑ Steven Erlanger, Taghreed El-Khodary, and Isabel Kershner (2007-07-19). "Gaza's Economy, Already Fragile, May Collapse Unless Crossings Are Reopened, U.N. Reports". New York Times.
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