Despite the ongoing terror emanating from Gaza, the flow of goods from Israel to the Hamas-controlled territory continues unabated – and there are so many trucks bringing those goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing that for the safety of residents living in the Gaza border area and to reduce the traffic jams that have come to rival those in Tel Aviv during rush hour, the Transportation Ministry will be imposing restrictions on the times and which roads trucks can use on their way to deliver their loads.
Beginning November 15th, trucks will be banned between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m., and between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., on the main highways leading to Kerem Shalom. These are the hours when school buses are most active and when parents take or pick up their children from school.
Vehicles weighing 12 tons or more will be banned from roads 232, 234, and 241 during those hours.
According to Ministry figures, some 2,000 trucks traverse those roads daily on their way to or from Gaza. Truck traffic constitutes 30 percent of all traffic on Gaza border area roads. The roads are usually single lane, and pass through small towns, moshavim and kibbutzim, which were not built to handle such heavy loads of traffic, and where there are many children.
For trucks that get “stuck” at the crossing during the no-drive times, the Ministry is opening a parking lot and refreshment center next to the crossing, with space for 250 trucks.