A rocket fell in the South for the second time since the summer war and Egypt discovered hundreds of tunnels, prompting the closing of borders with Gaza.
The Erez and Kerem Shalom Crossings, used to transfer cargo into Gaza, are closed for the first time since the end of Operation Protective Edge due to rocket fire from Gaza that hit the Eshkol Region in southern Israel on Friday. There were no injuries.
The incident was the second time since the ceasefire began that terrorists in Gaza had aimed missiles towards Israel.
The crossings will be open only for humanitarian exceptions, the Government Press Office announced on Sunday.
Neither Hamas nor any other group has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
“It doesn’t matter to us who fired, whether it was a Hamas or a rogue group,” declared Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yellin at a rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night marking the 19th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “We demand a military response to rockets fired at Israel’s residents. The military accomplishments of Operation Protective Edge are fading and there is no diplomatic arrangement to ensure real calm for residents of the South and all of Israel.”
“Time is running out before the next war. Today it’s Eshkol, tomorrow it will be Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” he added, urging an appropriate military response.
Southern Residents Waiting for ‘the Other Shoe to Drop’
Adele Raemer, a resident of Kibbutz Nirim just two km. from the Gaza border, said:
“Unfortunately, it happens more often than most people realize – that rockets land within Israel but are not announced.”
“It’s quiet – but nobody expects it to be over,” she told United with Israel. “Like usual…waiting for the other shoe to drop. Might not be today, or next month, but everyone expects it to happen again. If a few more of these ‘slip over,’ the Israeli government might not have a choice but to escalate again.”
The IDF’s main goal in Protective Edge was to destroy the terror tunnels built by Hamas that led into Israel and were apparently intended for terror attacks and kidnapping soldiers and civilians.
Egypt Set to Demolish Hundreds of Homes in Gaza
Meanwhile, Egypt has reportedly discovered hundreds of Hamas-built tunnels leading into Egypt. In the past week, Egypt has been evacuating residents while increasing the buffer zone in the Sinai due to a surge of terrorism in the Sinai that claimed the lives of dozens of Egyptian security troops.
Egypt began setting up a buffer zone along the border to prevent militant infiltration and arms smuggling following a wave of deadly attacks. The move is set to result in the demolition of hundreds of homes after a suicide bombing in the Sinai Peninsula killed at least 30 soldiers last week.
Deputy Hamas politiburo head Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk has threatened Israel over its decision to close Gaza’s border crossings Sunday, stating to Hamas news agency Al Risala that the move “will not be quietly overlooked,” Arutz-7 reports.
“This is a childish and irresponsible act,” Marzouk stated. “This is collective punishment on the Gaza Strip which violates all international laws, including the terms of the ceasefire agreement.”
Author: Atara Beck
Senior Writer, United with Israel