Israel closes Gaza crossing after rioting Palestinians damage infrastructure


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel closed the only pedestrian crossing with Gaza after rioting Palestinians damaged infrastructure.

The Israeli military announced its closure of the Erez crossing on Wednesday morning following clashes the previous day between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers left several Palestinians injured. Israeli troops responded to the violence, including rock throwing and vandalizing infrastructure.

About 1,000 Gazan Palestinians enter Israel each day through the Erez crossing, including students, businesspeople and those seeking medical care, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The closure will remain in place until repair to all of the infrastructure, according to the IDF, which did not say how long the repairs are estimated to take. Humanitarian cases will be decided individually, the IDF said.

Erez was closed in August due to violent March of Return protests.

The Kerem Shalom crossing, the main crossing between Israel and Gaza, through which all commercial and humanitarian goods travel, was closed for more than a month during July and August in response to Gaza border violence and incendiary balloon and kite attacks. Thousands of acres of farming land and natural forest were consumed in the flames sparked by the incendiary devices. Only food and medical equipment passed through the border during that time.

During riots near Kerem Shalom, rioters damaged the pipe system that delivered gas and oil through the crossing to Gaza.


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