Israel opens Erez border crossing with Gaza after days of calm


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel opened the Erez border crossing, the only pedestrian crossing with Gaza, which it closed more than a week ago after rioting Palestinians damaged infrastructure.

The crossing was reopened Thursday after several days of relative calm on the border between Israel and Gaza.

The Israeli military announced its closure of the Erez crossing on Sept. 5 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 IDF said at the time of the closure that it would remain closed until the damaged infrastructure was repaired.

Erez also 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. Only food and medical equipment passed through the border during that time.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been open to some Palestinians, including businessmen and students, since mid-May.

Egyptian and United Nations officials are working to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas, which is in charge of Gaza.

Also on Thursday, the IDF detonated a large homemade bomb that was planted near the security fence between Gaza and Israel during recent rioting at the border. The explosive device was discovered earlier this week inside a blue jerrycan next to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.

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