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What should be the final protest on the border with Israel ended with 15,000 Palestinians angrily setting ablaze the crossing used to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Rioting Palestinians caused more than $9 million in damages to the infrastructure at the Kerem Shalom Crossing, the main conduit for goods to enter Gaza. This was the second week in a row the crossing was attacked by Palestinians who set fire to the border crossing on Friday night. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, approved a recommendation to close the Kerem Shalom crossing until repairs are made. It will be opened for humanitarian cases which will be considered on an individual basis. The arson also targeted gas lines that provided natural gas to Gaza.

The IDF statement said, “Israel and many countries around the world work to deliver goods such as food, equipment and fuel to Gaza’s citizens, initiatives which are prevented by the Hamas terror organization’s actions.”

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Two brush fires were set in Israel by incendiary kites flown from Gaza over the security fence into Israel. Walla News reported that the IDF used specialized drones to attack the kites for the first time on Friday, bringing down over 40 kites on Friday.

On Saturday night, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) destroyed a half-mile long Hamas terror tunnel that had reached to within a few meters of the border in the vicinity of Israeli settlements. This was the ninth tunnel destroyed since October.

The IDF was monitoring the tunnel for several weeks before deciding to destroy it.

The March of Return protests began on March 30 and are set to end this week when the US Embassy opens in Jerusalem on Monday. 44 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with the IDF since the riots began. The IDF released a statement that it would double the number of troops on the Gaza border in preparation for the embassy opening when more riots are expected.


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