Israel reopens Gaza crossings

Jerusalem, June 8 (IANS) Israel has reopened crossings with the Gaza Strip on Monday after they were shut down for a day, an official spokesperson said.

The crossings, Kerem Shalom and Erez, were closed on Sunday after a rocket launched from Gaza hit an open area in Ashkelon, a city 50 km south of Tel Aviv.

Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the military on Monday to reopen the crossings for goods and the passage of people, according to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson.

There have been several rocket attacks toward southern Israel in the past several weeks, following a lull in rocket fire since the August 26 ceasefire that ended a 51-day war between Israel and Hamas, the ruler of the Gaza enclave, last summer.

The rocket attacks were followed by airstrikes conducted by the IDF in the strip. No injuries or damage were reported.

Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, the head of Israel’s Southern Command, told Army Radio on Monday that Israel cannot head to another war in Gaza and “destroy the achievements of Operation Protective Edge” over “some rockets launched by a recalcitrant organisation”.

Amid rising tension across the Gaza border, Israel on Sunday conducted a military exercise in southern Israel, but the IDF said the drill was planned in advance and not a response to recent developments in the region.

More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, with over 10,000 Palestinians displaced. On the Israeli side, at least 80 people have died in the conflict.

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