Kerem Shalom Crossing closed, movement at Erez Crossing further restricted

Kerem Shalom was also closed on Friday and Saturday for the weekend as usual. Photo: Eman Mohammed.

June 7, 2015. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the closing of Kerem Shalom Crossing after a rocket fired from Gaza yesterday landed near the city of Ashkelon, in the south of Israel. Kerem Shalom, the sole crossing through which goods transit into and out of the Gaza Strip, was also closed on Friday and Saturday for the weekend as usual.

Travel at Erez Crossing was further restricted today to medical patients, foreign citizens, Israeli citizens and residents of the West Bank wishing to return home. Family visits and travel for business purposes, or to transit abroad through Allenby Bridge was not permitted, however return of Palestinians to Gaza was allowed.

The Ministry of Defense has not provided information about any specific security threat to the crossings themselves or employees there that would justify their closing or added restrictions. Deliberate or indiscriminate rocket fire on civilian population centers are a war crime and a breach of international law. This does not justify punitive measures toward the civilian population, certainly not a population already suffering under severe restrictions on movement and that is dependent on Israeli-controlled crossings for trade, basic, life-sustaining goods and humanitarian aid, family life, education and livelihood.