Israel reduces cargo crossings with Gaza to three

GAZA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Israel has reduced commercial crossings with Gaza to three, closing a subsidiary passage through which fuel was piped into the blocked Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said on Monday.

"Israel told us that Nahal Ozz crossing in eastern Gaza City will be shut down forever," said Ra'ed Fatouh, an official with the Palestinian Economy Ministry.

From now on, cooking gas, gasoline and diesel will be sent to Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing in southeast Gaza Strip, he added.

Gaza people fear that they would suffer from gas shortage during the period when Israel moves the depots to the new crossing. They also warn that the Kerem Shalom crossing is not qualified to deliver enough amounts of fuel.

Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas-led Gazan militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Israel and Egypt sealed off their borders with Gaza in June 2007 when Islamic Hamas movement took over Gaza from security forces loyal to the Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas.