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Israel closes Erez crossing to Gaza workers

Children of freed Palestinian prisoner Nisreen Abu Kamil waiting to reunite with their mother at the Beit Hanoun-Erez border crossing in Beit Hanoun, Gaza on October 18, 2021 [Mustafa Hassona - Anadolu Agency]

Israel will close the Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing to Palestinian workers in the Gaza Strip as of Sunday, according to the military, Anadolu Agency reported.

A military statement said the closure will remain in place until further notice in the wake of rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

"Following the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip, we inform you that on Sunday, the Erez crossing will remain closed to workers and merchants," the coordinator of the Israeli government's operations in the Palestinian territories, Ghassan Alyan, said in a statement.

On Friday, the Israeli army said it had detected two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, without causing any damage.

Alyan said the reopening of the crossing that connects Israel and Gaza will be studied depending on the "assessment of the situation."

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On Thursday, the Israeli army, based on what it said was a "security assessment," imposed a closure on the occupied West Bank, and the crossings with the Gaza Strip. The closure is scheduled to end on Saturday evening.

A total of 12,000 Palestinians hold work permits in Israel.

In March, the Israeli government said it would raise the number of work permits to Palestinians to 20,000, according to Israeli media.

Tensions have been running high across the Palestinian territories since the beginning of April amid repeated Israeli arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank and daily settler incursions into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.

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