Following the firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel last night, Kerem Shalom Crossing is closed and travel at Erez Crossing is further restricted
April 28, 2013. Following the firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel last night, Kerem Shalom Crossing is closed and Erez Crossing is operating but according to further restrictions than per usual – travel is being allowed for Israeli citizens, medical patients, foreigners, people returning to their homes in the West Bank and other individually-approved humanitarian cases. The army spokesperson’s office tweeted that the restrictions were “due to security concerns”.
The firing of rockets towards civilian population centers violates international law and is a war crime. This is the fourth time in the past two months that the Israeli security establishment is restricting movement at the crossings as a response to rocket fire. Also, beginning last month, Israel further narrowed the permitted fishing zone off the coast of Gaza. These steps raise suspicion that movement is being openly restricted not because of a concrete security necessity, but rather as a means of applying pressure on the civilian population in what can be described as an act of collective punishment and in contravention of international law.