Israel said on Monday it was temporarily stopping commercial goods from leaving the Gaza Strip through a main border crossing after security officers thwarted an attempt to smuggle out explosives.
The country’s defence ministry said inspectors at the Kerem Shalom border crossing found several kilograms of “high-quality explosives” in a shipment, hidden in the lining of clothes, which they suspect was meant to reach “terrorist elements.”
The ministry said exports from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, through the crossing would be renewed in line with a situational assessment.
Palestinian border officials said they were told by Israel the crossing would be closed “until further notice.”
Gaza has been under a blockade by Israel and Egypt, who cite security concerns, since 2007 when Hamas took control. The blockade has taken an economic toll and most Palestinians in Gaza depend on foreign aid.