Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 09:53 UK

Gaza gets first cement for a year

Karni crossing on Tuesday
Traffic at Karni goods crossing has been restricted to humanitarian aid

Gaza is to receive shipments of cement for the first time in a year after Israel reopened border crossings it shut following recent rocket attacks.

An Israeli official said the commercial goods crossings of Karni and Sufa, and the Nahal Oz fuel depot, would open.

Israel and Palestinian militants who control Gaza have accused each other of breaking a truce agreed in June.

Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade for a year, since the militant Hamas movement took control.

During that time, rocket fire at nearby Israeli towns by Palestinian militants has increased, although there have been just a handful of attacks since the truce.

"After evaluating the situation where we had a couple of days where rockets were fired, no rockets were fired yesterday [Tuesday] and this has enabled us to reopen the crossings," Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said.

Five trucks of dry cement would be allowed in on Wednesday, along with fuel, wheat and animal feed, the Hamas-run interior ministry said.

Since the blockade, Israel has only allowed in goods for humanitarian purposes, which has prevented any rebuilding of Gaza's war-torn infrastructure.

About 26 sick Palestinians would also be taken to Israel for medical treatment, the ministry said.

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