Gaza crossing reopens after one-day closure due to rocket fire
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Gaza crossing reopens after one-day closure due to rocket fire

Pedestrian Erez crossing no longer sealed; Kerem Shalom, from where goods enter and leave enclave, to remain shut

Palestinians prepare to cross from Israel into the Gaza Strip at the Erez Crossing, September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Palestinians prepare to cross from Israel into the Gaza Strip at the Erez Crossing, September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The pedestrian Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza reopened Friday morning after a one-day closure due to stepped-up rocket attacks from terror groups in the enclave, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed.

The Kerem Shalom crossing, from which goods enter and leave the Strip, will remain shuttered, a COGAT spokesman said.

Kerem Shalom had been closed on Thursday, along with the Erez crossing.

The army said Thursday’s move was made in light of “security events and in accordance with security assessments.”

Police find a rocket, fired from Gaza, inside a kindergarten in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on December 9, 2017. (Israel Police)

While the Gaza crossings are typically closed for Jewish and national holidays, it is uncommon for Israel to shut them for punitive reasons.

For over a decade, Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza, which they say is necessary to keep arms and other materials that can be used for military purposes out of the hands of Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.

Israel allows goods to be brought into and out of Gaza on a daily basis, under heavy supervision, through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. Egypt, meanwhile, operates the Rafah Crossing into Sinai, but only opens it occasionally.

On Wednesday night, four rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, a third struck an open field and the fourth fell short of the border and hit a school in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials.

While no rockets were fired on Thursday, an alert siren blared in the Eshkol Region in southern Israel in a false alarm.

In the past week, over a dozen rockets have been fired from Gaza. A number of them fell short, five were shot down by the Iron Dome and six struck Israel, two of them causing damage in the southern town of Sderot.

This has been the largest amount of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Gaza war. According to Israeli assessments, these rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip.

Palestinian trucks loaded with supplies enters the southern Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah, on November 1, 2017 (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

The Israel-Gaza tensions have apparently been fed by Washington’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Protesting US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction, called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem.

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