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.‎‎