After rockets, Israel closes Gaza crossings

Kerem Shalom to be shuttered completely and Erez to be open only to humanitarian cargo, army says

Israel said Monday it would close one of the main commercial crossings into Gaza, and partially close another one, in response to rockets fired from the Strip the day before.

A spokesperson for the military’s Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, which administers the crossing between Israel and the Palestinian enclave, said the Kerem Shalom Crossing would be completely shut, and the Erez Crossing would be open to humanitarian cargo only. A third gateway, the Karni Crossing, would not be affected.

On Sunday, Gazan terrorists fired three missiles at Israel, as the country was marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. One rocket hit an open area in the Sha’ar Hanegev Region and two landed inside the Strip.

Israel similarly closed the Kerem Shalom Crossing and partially shut the Erez Crossing last month in response to rocket fire during a visit by US President Barack Obama. The crossing were reopened after a week.

The presence of US Secretary of State John Kerry in the region for peace negotiations may have been a factor in Jerusalem deciding to respond in a nonmilitary manner.

Last week, Israeli jets dropped bombs over open areas in Gaza in response to a volley of rockets fired at Israel. The move was seen as a warning to the Strip.

Hamas, which rules the Strip, blamed the fire then on rogue groups and said it arrested a rocket launcher.

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