Following the directive of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, it was decided that the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza will be closed starting Tuesday morning.
The directive follows the continued firing of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed except for the entry of essential humanitarian equipment and fuels.
Officials in Israel say that "the decision was made after security consultations and in light of repeated terrorist acts by terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip against Israeli citizens which constitute a violation of Israeli sovereignty."
They added that "firing incendiary balloons and violating the security calm will, first and foremost, harm the residents of the Gaza Strip, the development of the economy and attempts to improve the civilian situation of its residents. The IDF and the State of Israel will respond firmly to any violation of our sovereignty and our citizens. Hamas bears responsibility for everything that is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip towards Israel, and it will bear the consequences of the violence perpetrated against the citizens of Israel."
On Monday, firebombs and explosive balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip towards the communities in the Gaza envelope, causing fires and extensive damage.
In addition, loud explosions were heard in the vicinity of the city of Sderot, as a result of a balloon that was fired from the Gaza Strip on which an explosive device was installed. This drove some of the city's residents into protected areas because they thought the balloon was a rocket that had been fired.