Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced on Sunday, August 26, that the Erez border crossing point in northern Gaza Strip will reopen on Monday, August 27. According to Lieberman, the decision to reopen the crossing point was made following a significant decline in violent incidents along the border in recent days. However, further violent cross-border clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants are possible in the coming weeks.
Israeli authorities closed the Erez crossing point on August 19 following a series of cross-border attacks. The violence comes amid attempts by the UN and Egypt to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that has governed Gaza since 2007. The two parties have been involved in three wars since 2008 and tensions have spiked since March 30, 2018, leading to fears of another all-out conflict.
Palestinian protesters have rallied at the Gaza border fence weekly since March 30 in a Hamas-supported movement dubbed "The Great March of Return." More than 160 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed in border clashes since the protests began.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation. Due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the Palestinian Territories and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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