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With calm holding, Israel to reopen Gaza crossings

Erez and Kerem Shalom transfer stations had been shuttered in response to Monday’s rocket fire

Workers on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the Gaza Strip, December 2011 (photo credit Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
Workers on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the Gaza Strip, December 2011 (photo credit Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

Israel will reopen two crossings into the Gaza Strip, military officials said Wednesday morning, following two days of calm after a rocket barrage hit Israel early Monday.

The Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, used by travelers, and the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing in the south of the enclave are expected to resume business on Wednesday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said.

The two transfer points were shuttered on Monday as part of Israel’s response to the rocket fire.

Six rockets were fired at Israel from the Strip early Monday morning. Four landed in open areas and two were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. There were no injuries or damage

The rockets, thought to be shot by Islamic Jihad terrorists in a power struggle with the Strip’s Hamas rulers, broke a tense a calm that has pervaded over the area since a November offensive by Israel stemmed daily rocket fire.

Hamas has reportedly deployed a 600-man force aimed at keeping rogue groups from launching rockets at Israel and breaking the fragile ceasefire in place since November.

Israeli planes also struck a number of sites in the Strip in retaliation for the rockets.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has closed crossings into Gaza several times in response to sporadic rocket fire since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would “harm anyone who tries to harm us.”

“This is how we will continue to treat threats from near and far,” he said.

 

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