Israel to reopen Gaza crossing after week of calm on border

AP

Israel’s defense minister has announced he will reopen the country’s main personnel crossing with the Gaza Strip following a week of relative calm along the border.

Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that after consultation with the country’s security agencies, he ordered the opening of the Erez border crossing on Monday.

The decision to reopen the crossing comes amid efforts by Egypt to mediate a possible cease-fire between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel following weeks of intense violence at the border.

The sides have come close to serious conflict in recent weeks, as militants have fired rockets at Israel, which responded with airstrikes.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and doesn’t recognize Israel, seeks an easing of the decade-long, crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Palestinian territory in exchange for a lasting truce.