The decision of the Ministry of Defense comes after the recommendation of the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories. According to the announcement, the decision to close the crossing was made in light of repeated terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip, and after security consultations
“The inflating of incendiary balloons and the violation of 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 government coordinator said in a statement. “The IDF and the State of Israel will respond firmly and rigidly to any violation of our sovereignty and our citizens.”
The Coordinator of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories also stated that “Hamas bears responsibility for everything that is done in and out of the Gaza Strip towards Israel, and it will bear the consequences of the violence used against Israeli citizens.”
Since this morning, dozens of fires have broken out in the Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol and Sdot Negev regional councils in the Gaza Strip, as a result of explosive balloons launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. Firefighters took control of the fire in most of the fires, but are still working to put out one of the fires in the area of Kibbutz Kissufim. Additional incendiary balloons were also found in Ofakim and the new cemetery in Be’er Sheva.
The Eshkol Regional Council announced that firefighters, local residents and IDF soldiers dealt with about 25 fires that broke out as a result of incendiary balloons during the day. The fires and agricultural damage, “the council said.
In the morning, firefighters were called to a field near Kibbutz Erez in the Gaza Strip. This, following a fire that broke out at the site as a result of incendiary balloons launched into the area from the Gaza Strip. At first, the source of the flare-up was unknown, but suspicion arose that it was an explosive balloon, which was strengthened with residents’ reports of hearing echoes of explosions.
At the same time, an incendiary balloon was located near Moshav Nir Moshe, but it did not cause a flare-up in the area. About three hours later, firefighters and security personnel in the Eshkol Regional Council operated several fires that broke out in the Kissufim area, one of which broke out in the area of the settlement – and was extinguished.
In recent days, balloon terrorism from the Gaza Strip has resumed, leading to a warming of the sector. During the night, IDF aircraft attacked a Hamas observation post in response to the launching of balloons yesterday and the two fires that broke out near Kibbutz Bari. About a thousand dunams of grove were burned in the nature reserves in the south of the country.