Defense minister shuts Gaza gateways due to rockets

Newly appointed Moshe Ya’alon says border crossings will return to full operation only when security considerations allow

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Moshe Ya'alon in January (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Moshe Ya'alon in January (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip was shut down and the Erez crossing partially closed on Thursday in response to rocket fire from Gaza earlier in the day.

Newly appointed Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the restrictions on the two passageways, which serve as major conduits for goods into the coastal enclave, Israel Radio reported. The Erez crossing will only be open for the transfer of humanitarian supplies. According to the report the two crossings will only return to full operation after an assessment of the situation, when security considerations allow it.

The IDF also restricted the fishing zone permitted to Gaza fishermen from six miles to three miles.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired at least four rockets at Israel, one of which landed in the yard of a home in Sderot causing damage, but no injuries.

Another rocket hit an open area in Sha’ar Hanegev with no reported injuries or damage. Two other rockets fell short and landed near the border fence with the Strip.

Hamas denied responsibility for the rocket fire. The attack was condemned by US President Barack Obama during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday.

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