Truck enters Gaza through the Erez Crossing
Truck enters Gaza through the Erez Crossing Flash 90

Israel on Wednesday opened the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza to allow the transfer of vehicles carrying goods for the first time in nine years, officials said, according to AFP.

An AFP photographer saw deliveries arriving through the crossing, which has been restricted to individuals since 2007, with goods going through Kerem Shalom in southern Gaza.

Residents of the Israeli towns in the area had for months complained about the hundreds of trucks passing through the area daily, which caused heavy traffic and endangered motorists.

In May, then Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Erez would be opened in order to enable a better flow of goods into Gaza and ease congestion at Kerem Shalom, though at the time he did not specify a date on which the crossing will reopen.

A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confirmed that vehicles had entered Gaza through the Erez Crossing.

"This measure has been taken to facilitate the work of Palestinian importers and thus help the economy of the Gaza Strip," the spokesman told AFP.

An association of Palestinian vehicle owners in Gaza said 110 vehicles arrived on their side through Erez.

Israel has imposed a naval blockade on Gaza ever since Hamas violently took control of the enclave, due to the fact that the terror organization takes advantage of aid deliveries to smuggle in weapons.

But Israel continues to regularly allow humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, even though its terrorist rulers continue to attack southern Israel with rockets and openly threaten to destroy the Jewish state.

Last year, Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza and allowed 700 truckloads of goods to enter the region.

Most recently, a Turkish ship with aid for the residents of Gaza entered the territory as part of the reconciliation deal between Turkey and Israel. The ship was inspected at the Ashdod port before it was permitted to continue to Gaza.