Israel troops cross Gaza, destroy structures

Palestinians said the buildings were warehouses holding goods which had been transferred to the Gaza Strip via the nearby Karni crossing, which Israel shut down earlier this year.

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011, 22:46 PM IST

Gaza City: Israeli troops made a brief incursion into Gaza early on Thursday to demolish several buildings which the army said were being used by "terrorist organisations."

Palestinians said the buildings were warehouses holding
goods which had been transferred to the Gaza Strip via the
nearby Karni crossing, which Israel shut down earlier this
year.

Witnesses said the buildings contained assorted
equipment, children`s diapers, scrap metal and cleaning
detergent. The goods were damaged during the destruction of
the warehouses.

The operation also damaged a room holding the electrical
generators for the industrial zone near the Karni crossing,
they said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP the operation
was intended to raze buildings being used by "terrorist
organisations" in the Gaza Strip.

"Israel Defence Forces dismantled structures that
previously were a part of the Karni crossing, which were used
by terrorist organisations to execute terrorist activities
against IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians," she said.

"In light of security assessments and alerts of terrorist
activity from the area, (the region`s commander) Major-General
Tal Russo ordered the closure and the dismantling of the Karni
crossing approximately two months ago," she added.

Goods that had previously been transferred into Gaza
through Karni, which sits adjacent to Gaza City on the coastal
territory`s eastern border with Israel, are now transferred
through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south.

Palestinian merchants and truck drivers have complained
that the southern crossing is inconvenient, as it lies further
than Karni from Gaza`s main population centre, Gaza City.

PTI