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Israel Re-Opens Key Gaza Border Crossing

Israel has re-opened a key border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, and says it will allow 1,000 Palestinian workers and hundreds of Gaza merchants to enter Israel on Thursday.

Wednesday's announcement comes a day after an Israeli-Palestinian summit, where Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to militant attacks on Israelis. Israel, in turn, promised to stop killing Palestinians anywhere.

The Erez crossing was closed last month after militants killed six Israeli civilians in northern Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom says he is launching a campaign to organize a national referendum on Israel's Gaza withdrawal plan.

The move places Mr. Shalom at odds with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who says he wants to expedite the pullback and insists a referendum is unnecessary. Interior Minister Ophir Pines called the referendum push a move by withdrawal opponents to sabotage the plan.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.