Kerem Shalom
Kerem ShalomFlash 90

Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas took control of the Gazan side of the enclave's main goods crossing with Israel, the strip's interior ministry and an official news agency said Sunday.

Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a near civil war with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas' Fatah party.

But it agreed to hand control of the crossings to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in 2017, as part of a since-failed reconciliation attempt between the two parties.

The PA administration at the Kerem Shalom crossing said Sunday that Hamas had "expelled (its) employees and banned them from entering the crossing", the official news agency Wafa reported.

Hamas confirmed PA employees had left the crossing.

Security forces "put in place procedures dictated by security imperatives", Gaza's interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum said in a statement.

"Palestinian Authority employees at the crossing have refused to cooperate on these procedures for a few days and today we were surprised by their departure," he added.

He said goods continued to pass through the crossing as normal.

The Israeli defense ministry body COGAT, said "trucks were going through" into Gaza as usual.

Last month, Gaza's only crossing with Egypt was partially closed for some 20 days after PA employees withdrew from the border point, accusing Hamas of interference.

Hamas employees quickly retook control of the Rafah crossing, the only way for Gazans to leave the enclave that bypasses Israel.