After Tense Weekend, Israel Still Not Completely Calmed
After a relatively quiet Sunday, Israelis living near the southern border with Gaza were again awakened by five consecutive sirens late Sunday night and early Monday morning, as Hamas, the terror group in control of the Gaza Strip, returned to launching rockets across the border fence. Four Israelis were injured while fleeing to shelter, local authorities reported. In response, Israel’s military on Monday announced a total closure of the coastal enclave’s already limited fishing zone until further notice. The tit-for-tat follows a tense and violent weekend which saw 40 rocket launches by Hamas on Friday night and Saturday against Israeli civilians, in what Palestinians describe as a response to the “Zionist aggression” surrounding the holy sites in Jerusalem. Israel Police initially closed off the Damascus Gate complex just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, where hundreds of Muslim worshippers gathered in the evening at the end of the daily fast of the holy Ramadan month. This, along with several unprovoked violent attacks by Palestinians against Jewish residents of the capital, led to clashes with riot-gear-laden police which led to dozens of wounded and arrests. On Sunday evening, the Israel Police announced the removal of the metal barriers blocking the Damascus Gate area.