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    An Israeli tank drives next to Erez Border crossing between the Gaza strip and Southern Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.

    Israel Closes Gaza Border Crossing, Responding to Rallies – Palestinian Ministry

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israel announced on Sunday the closure of the only operating crossing for people between Israel and the Gaza Strip - Erez (Beit Hanoun in Arabic), a spokesman for the Palestinian Civil Affairs Ministry said.

    "Israeli authorities informed the commission [ministry] regarding the closure of Beit Hanoun crossing since Sunday morning and that it will be closed for those traveling outside of Gaza, while for Palestinians returning to Gaza, it will remain open," Mohammed Maqadma was quoted as saying by the Ma'an news agency.

    The official explained that the reason for the closure was a march organized by Palestinians on Saturday near Gaza’s northern border, as well as the continuing Great March of Return, the Palestinian protest campaign against Israel.

    READ MORE: IDF Confirms Reopening of Kerem Shalom Crossing Into Gaza

    According to the news outlet, citing the Israeli Defense Ministry, the closure of the crossing does not apply to people who need immediate medical assistance outside the Gaza Strip.

    Tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians near the Gaza border have been mounting since late March, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return. The recent disturbances on the Israeli-Gaza border have been caused by continued shelling and the launch of arson balloons by Hamas militants into Israeli territories.

    The clashes have already left at least 170 Palestinians dead and about 18,000 others injured.


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