Israel responds to Gaza rockets with airstrike, closure of crossings

Jerusalem, (IANS) Israel on Sunday closed the crossings into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and carried out an airstrike on Gaza in retaliation to the previous days’ rocket attack, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.

The IDF said in a statement that in accordance with a Defence Ministry directive and “in light of security assessments”, the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip and the Erez Crossing in its north have been closed for the passage of people and materials, except in cases of “medical emergency and humanitarian aid” until further notice, Xinhua reported.

The Israeli Air Force also carried out an airstrike at an alleged terror infrastructure site in the northern Gaza Strip, the statement said. No injuries were reported.

The airstrike was conducted in response to the launch of a rocket on Saturday from the Gaza Strip to the vicinity of Ashkelon, 50 km south of Tel Aviv and 13 km north of the Gaza Strip, which hit an open area and no injuries or damage were reported.

Meanwhile, as tensions across the Gaza border rose, the IDF deployed more batteries of Iron Dome anti-missile batteries around Ashkelon, according to a military source.

Saturday’s rocket attack on the southern Israeli community was the third of its kind in the past two weeks, while the Israeli overnight airstrike was the second in three days, in retaliation to rocket attacks from Gaza.

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