Israel closes the Gaza border crossing after the protests

Protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during a protest at the entrance of the Erez border crossing which has now been closed.

The Israeli army said on Wednesday it was closing its exclusive crossing for people with the Gaza Strip after a riot there, only 10 days after it was reopened.

"Yesterday, violent disturbances were instigated in the area of ​​the Erez crossing, with the participation of hundreds of Palestinian rioters," the army said in a statement.

"Subsequently, it was decided to close the Erez crossing until the damage caused by the rioters is repaired."

The Palestinians protested against Washington's announcement on Friday that it would cease all funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which helps some three million refugees in need.

The army said the Palestinians had damaged the crossing infrastructure on the Gaza side with rocks.

Protesters marched during a protest on the Palestinian side of the Erez border crossing on Tuesday.


He said the crossing will remain open for "individually approved humanitarian cases."

Israel reopened Erez on August 27 after an 11-day close after previous clashes, as part of its policy of easing its decade-long air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip when calm remains.

The only merchandise crossing between Israel and Gaza, Kerem Shalom, remains open.

There have been months of tension along the border and several outbreaks of military attacks, but in recent weeks there has been relative calm.

Egyptian and United Nations officials have been mediating indirect negotiations over a long-term truce between Israel and the Islamist rulers of Gaza Hamas, who have waged three wars since 2008.