Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai (Labor) has decided to open the Sufa crossing into Gaza despite IDF objections. The crossing was closed on October 28, leaving Kerem Shalom as the only crossing through which goods are brought into and out of Gaza. Leaving only one crossing open was meant to increase the pressure on terrorist groups, as Gaza would be completely cut off from trade if the crossing closed due to mortar shell attacks.
IDF officials say that Sufa crossing is harder to guard than Kerem Shalom, and have expressed concern that terrorists may attack the crossing. Sources said Thursday that Vilnai might have given in to pressure from nearby kibbutz cooperatives, which own the company that runs the crossing. Most of the kibbutz residents are members of Labor, the sources said.