Twenty trucks which had been donated by Qatar to the Palestinian security services crossed the Rafah terminal in the south of the territory after transiting in Egypt, said Samir Abu Nahleh, the terminal's director.

"This is the first time since the terminal opened that we have received merchandise from abroad," he added.

Before their arrival in Rafah, the trucks had undergone security inspections at Israel's nearby Kerem Shalom terminal, in accordance with rules as laid down in an accord which led to the reopening of Rafah under Palestinian control on 25 November.

Before then, Rafah had been essentially closed since Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in early September.

Abu Nahleh said that a total of 100 trucks which the Qatari government was giving to the Palestinian Interior Ministry should arrive in the next few days.