The closure of the Nitzana border crossing stopped all cargo movements from Israel to Egypt. The sudden closure had not been coordinated with the exporters
Thousands of Palestinians stranded in Egypt since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and the Rafah border crossing was closed, have started moving back to their homes in Gaza after a deal allowing them to pass through Israel.
About 400 Palestinians were bussed last week to the Nitzana cargo crossing between Egypt and Israel, from where they were transported by Israeli buses to the Erez crossing into Gaza.
The closure of the Nitzana border crossing stopped all cargo movements from Israel to Egypt. The Nitzana Border Crossing is an international border crossing between Egypt and Israel which serves mainly goods moving from Israel to the QIZ factories in Egypt. The terminal handles only commercial trade between the two nations. The terminal is open from Sunday to Thursday, 8:00 to 17:00.
Mr. Miki Pinkas of the American Israeli Paper Mills Group Ltd. (AIPM), the largest Israeli exporter to Egypt through Nitzana, noted in an interview he gave to port2port's correspondent that his company had experienced heavy losses due to the decision to close the border crossing, having to pay high storage costs as well as lorries waiting time at the border.
Pinkas added that: "on a usual day some 150 lorries cross the border crossing whereas today the crossing rate is no more than 8 – 10 lorries."
Mr. Shlomo Sharom chairman of the Israeli Federation of International Freight Forwarders and Customs Clearing Agents, said in a letter he addressed the head of the Israel Airport Authority, which runs the crossing, that the sudden closure had not been coordinated with the exporters thus inflicting heavy losses and damage to the goodwill of many Israeli exporters.