Israeli residents of Gaza border block Kerem Shalom crossing into Strip
Residents and activists block off Kerem Shalom crossing in protest to months of violence and rocket fire.
By URI BOLLAGUpdated: OCTOBER 29, 2018 14:59
Israeli residents from the southern border communities blocked the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza Monday morning.The group, protesting the continuous rocket fire and security situation in the south, were joined by activists from the right-wing organization Im Tirtzu, and managed to block dozens of trucks carrying supplies from entering the coastal enclave.The Kerem Shalom crossing is Israel's main commercial crossing into the Gaza Strip, with an average of 800 trucks of goods passing through it every day, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.MK Ofer Shelah, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said "for six months now the Gaza border residents have been Bibi's flak jacket, which he wraps around himself, while evading decisions and action."Shelah was wrapping up a discussion in the Knesset Finance Committee on the damage to tourism and agriculture in the Gaza border region, initiated with his party colleague MK Mickey Levy. "A representative from the Prime Minister's Office who was invited did not bother to come 'because of human error,'" Shelah said. "There is no security for the Gaza] border region, there is no economic Iron Dome for its residents.""There is only a prime minister who is a 'human error," Shelah lamented.Similar demonstrations took place over the past few days following an increase in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip targeting Israel's southern communities. Israel and Hamas as well as Islamic Jihad, which was responsible for the latest salvo of rockets over the weekend, agreed to a truce Saturday afternoon.AdvertisementOn Saturday night, residents protested their living situation at major road intersections in their local communities, and last night gathered in Tel Aviv to block an interchange near the Azrieli towers, holding protest signs and carrying out mock air-raid drills.On the other side of the border, hundreds of Gaza residents demonstrated late Sunday night demanding a response to the IDF killing hours earlier of three Palestinian minors believed to have placed an explosive device near the southern border security fence.The situation along Israel's southern border has been volatile for months. Gaza residents conduct weekly violent protests along the fence, throwing Molotov cocktails and burning tires at IDF forces protecting the fence, and numerous attempts to penetrate the fence.Over half of Israeli forested land near the southern border has burnt as a result of Palestinian-launched incendiary devices.