Israel has decided to further restrict movement between southern Israel and the Gaza Strip after Hamas forces launched a bold attack on an Israeli-manned border crossing at the weekend.
Thirteen Israeli soldiers were wounded when terrorists drove explosives-laden vehicles into the Kerem Shalom crossing terminal on Saturday.
The lead vehicle in the attack was an armored personnel carrier (APC) provided to the Palestinian Authority as part of the peace process and subsequently captured by Hamas when it seized control of Gaza last year.
After the APC crashed through the security fence at Kerem Shalom, two military jeeps packed with bombs were driven into the Israeli army checkpoint and detonated.
Defense officials believe the Palestinians had intended to abduct one or more Israeli soldiers amid the initial confusion.
Kerem Shalom is the crossing that Israel and international humanitarian aid organizations use to bring some 200 truckloads of essential goods to the more impoverished residents of Gaza every week. Because of Saturday's attack, those supplies will be halted for several days in order to improve security, and may be scaled back in order to better defend against future assaults.