Israel closing Gaza crossing after violence along frontier

Israeli workers on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Monday, Dec. 2011. Each day, dozens of trucks move food, consumer products and industrial materials into the Gaza Strip at this heavily fortified crossing, in an odd arrangement that has turned Israel into a key supplier to a territory governed by its bitter enemy Hamas. Photo by Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90 *** Maariv & NRG OUT *** *** Local Caption *** îòáø ëøí ùìåí âáåì éùøàì òæä ñçåøåú îùàéåú çîàñ äøùåú äôìùúéðàéú


JERUSALEM: Israel’s defense minister says he’s closing the country’s main personnel crossing with Gaza in response to recent violence along the frontier.

Avigdor Lieberman says Sunday that he’s shutting down the Erez border crossing.

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and another 60 were wounded during violent protests Friday amid ongoing Egyptian efforts to broker a cease-fire. The protesters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops from behind clouds of black smoke from burning tires. The soldiers responded with tear gas and live fire.

Hamas officials have been meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo to hammer out details of a possible truce with Israel. The sides have come close to serious conflict in recent weeks, as militants have fired rockets at Israel, which has responded with airstrikes.