GAZA: Israel closed one of its main border crossings with Gaza after incendiary balloons set fire to areas on the Israeli frontier.
Israeli media reported that more than 30 fires were set around border communities by balloons carrying incendiary devices.
“Karem Abu Salem will be closed for the passage of all goods, with the exception of the entry of essential humanitarian equipment and fuel,” Israel’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.
An essential crossing
Karem Abu Salem is one of three main Gaza border crossings with Israel and Egypt, but it is where most goods pass through daily.
Palestinian officials said the closure in particular affected construction materials.
An armed group also fired several rockets into the sea on Monday after repeated exchanges of fire with Israel in recent days.
The rockets were a “message” to Israel to let it know that armed groups in Gaza will not “remain silent” in the face of an Israeli blockade and “aggression”, a source told AFP.
Gaza is run by Hamas, one of two major political parties in Palestine.
Citing security concerns, Israel maintains tight control over the enclave’s land and sea borders.
Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza.
Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.
Despite a truce last year, backed by the UN, Egypt and Qatar, the two sides clash sporadically with rockets, mortar fire or incendiary balloons.