Israel Designated Gaza Strip Perimeter Closed Military Zone

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Israel Designated Gaza Strip Perimeter Closed Military Zone

Israeli soldiers patrol near the border with the Gaza Strip November 16, 2012. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

On November 8, the territory near the Gaza Strip perimeter has been designated a closed military zone by the commander of Southern District of Israel major general Eyal Zamir. Civilians are prohibited from approaching the zone.

The authorities claim this decision is warranted by a rising threat of sabotage from Gaza after the deaths of Islamic Jihad and Hamas members  during the destruction of a tunnel on October 30.

The zone was already ordered to be closed shortly after the destruction of the tunnel, but the order was rescinded on November 5.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) did not disclose the reasons for ordering the zone closed once again.

The bodies of five militants that died in the tunnel were found in the Israel half of the tunnel, according to IDF.

The Islamic Jihad group said it was denied access to the collapsed tunnel and was unable to recover the bodies of its five members.

Both Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the dominant Islamist group in Gaza that had said earlier it lost two people in the tunnel collapse, have sworn to retaliate.

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