After rocket attack, Israel shuts Gaza fishing zone

In response to terrorists launching a rocket attack over the weekend, Israel closed the Gaza fishing zone.

By Associated Press

Israel closed the Gaza Strip’s offshore fishing zone Sunday following a night of cross-border fighting with Palestinian terrorists, the most intense escalation of hostilities in recent months.

Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted two rockets launched at southern Israel by terrorists in Gaza. Police said rocket fallout caused damage to a house in the town of Sderot, and paramedics treated a 58-year-old man for wounds from the exploding glass.

Israeli strikes were a response to explosive balloons launched by a Hamas-affiliated group over the border, and attempts by Palestinian protesters to throw explosives at the Israel-Gaza perimeter fence and soldiers stationed along it.

Dozens of Palestinians took part in the riots, at which the Israeli military reported protesters “burned tires, hurled explosive devices and grenades towards the security fence and attempted to approach it.”

Gaza’s Health Ministry said Israeli gunfire at protesters wounded two Palestinians.

Israel holds Hamas, the Islamist terror group ruling the Gaza Strip, responsible for all attacks emanating from the Palestinian territory.

Incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip have caused massive amounts of damage to Israeli fields in recent days. It comes as Hamas, like other Palestinian factions, denounced the United Arab Emirates for agreeing to formal ties with Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza closed until further notice in response to the rocket fire.

Following a meeting Sunday with the top army brass, Gantz said in a statement that Israel “will respond forcefully to any violation of sovereignty until complete quiet is restored in the south. If Sderot isn’t quiet, Gaza won’t be either.”

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power from the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup in 2007. Israel has fought three wars with Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the years since.