IDF extends closed military zone around Gaza

In the wake of the commencement of the ground-stage of operation Cast Lead, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant instructed that the closed military zone around the Gaza Strip be extended to include all of the areas to the west of Sderot, Ofakim and Netivot. The IDF announced that the following roads would be closed until further notice: Route 224, near Kibbutz Gvulot and westward, Route 241 before Ma'on Junction and westward and Route 234 near Moshav Tal and westward. Only residents of local communities will be allowed passage. Route 34 from Ashkelon to Netivot and Route 25 from Netivot to Beersheba will remain open.