17th October, 2018
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday ordered the shutdown of the crossings between Gaza and Israel after Gaza militants fired rockets at Israel, a statement released by the Defence Ministry said.
According to the statement, Lieberman instructed the military to shut down the Erez Crossing, the only pedestrian passage between the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, a passage for goods.
Lieberman also imposed further restrictions on the allowed fishing zone in Gaza.
The moves were retribution to rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel earlier on Wednesday.
One rocket hit a residential home in the southern city of Beersheba, causing damage.
Two people were injured as they ran to seek cover. Another rocket fell in the sea across central Israel shores.
In response, Israel launched a wide-scale air attack, targeting Hamas sites, according to the military.
At least one Palestinian was killed by the strikes and three others were injured, local media reported.
The escalation came after weeks of tensions. Gazans have been holding demonstrations near the fence separating Gaza from Israel since March 30, to protest blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.
The protest includes the occasional launching of helium-filled balloons to set fires in southern Israel’s arid farmlands.
Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday morning after rockets were launched from the besieged Palestinian enclave, with one hitting a home in southern Israel.
“At this time IDF (Israel Defence Forces) fighter jets started attacking terror targets in the Gaza Strip,” a military spokesperson said in a statement just before 7 a.m. l (0400 a.m. GMT).
At least three people were injured in the strikes on Gaza, according to local media.
A police spokesman said a rocket fired by militants from Gaza struck a residential home in the city of Beer Sheva in southern Israel.
A spokesman for Magen David Adom medical emergency service said a mother and her three children whose home was struck were being treated for shock.
He said that two other people were injured during a panic to seek cover when the projectile triggered sirens across the city.
Later, another rocket fell short in the sea across the shore of central Israel, causing no damage or injuries, according to the police.
The municipality of Beer Sheva said that in the wake of the strike, all of the city’s schools and kindergartens would remain closed Wednesday.
The rocket attack was one of the first in months and came amidst renewed tensions between Israel and Hamas.
The fire came less than a day after Lieberman said his country should deliver a “serious blow” to Gaza Strip’s Hamas.