Despite Overnight Rockets, Israel Opens Gaza Crossings

Israeli army shells Hamas outposts after five rockets fired at south from the Strip

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File photo: Aftermath of an Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, March 2019.
File photo: Aftermath of an Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, March 2019.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

Israel has opened the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossing into Gaza on Sunday, despite the rocket fire Saturday night at southern Israel from the Strip. Tanks shelled Hamas posts in response to the projectiles, the military said.

The Egyptian security delegation, which arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening, left Sunday through the Eretz crossing. 

Kerem Shalom is opened for merchandise and the Erez crossing for people with exit permits and to allow fishing in the area where it was previously allowed.

If quiet is maintained, other restrictions are to be more extensively eased at a later time, in keeping with the understandings reached with Egypt.

Sirens blared in Eshkol Regional Council hours after some 40,000 Palestinians protested at the fence separating Israel from the coastal enclave. Gaza authorities said three 17-year-old demonstrators were killed by live fire during the protests, which Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen Ronen Manelis said were relatively restrained.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing, March 31, 2019. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkowitz

The rockets landed in open areas and did not cause any injuries.

Israel may open border crossings in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and once again permit fishing opposite the Gaza shoreline, after successful efforts by Hamas to restrain the border demonstrations – but the decision may depend on developments overnight. 

That came after a day of relative calm, following a serious flare-up that began on Monday. Seven people were wounded early Monday morning after a house north of Tel Aviv was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short his visit to Washington and return to Israel. 

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