The military on Wednesday closed the Erez crossing linking Israel and the northern Gaza Strip following a Palestinian riot that caused extensive damage to the premises.
Erez crossing in the only pedestrian crossing between Israel and the coastal enclave and thousands of Palestinians use in daily.
”A violent demonstration at Erez [crossing], which included hundreds of rioters, resulted in extensive damage to the infrastructure on the crossing’s Palestinian side. Erez crossing will be shut down until the damage caused by the rioters is repaired,” a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
”This measure will not affect humanitarian cases, which will be approved on case-by-case merit,” the IDF stressed.
A Palestinian source said demonstrators were protesting a recent U.S. decision to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which supports the residents of Gaza.
Also on Thursday, an incendiary balloon sent over the Gaza border sparked a fire in Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, less than half a mile from the Israel-Gaza Strip border.
The fire caused some damage to agricultural land in the kibbutz before it was extinguished.
The now-waning Palestinian terrorist arson campaign, launched in late April, has so far decimated nearly 10,000 acres of forest and farmlands on the Israeli side of the border. Incendiary kites and balloons have caused millions of dollars in damage to the area over the past three months and environmental experts say it will take at least 15 years to rehabilitate the vegetation and wildlife that have been destroyed.