Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday ordered commercial crossing points into the Gaza Strip to remain closed for a second day and Gaza ruler Hamas said the decision violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.
Israel's official radio reported that the closure will be placed until further evaluating the security conditions after the Islamic Jihad (Holy War), a small Palestinian group in Gaza, fired rockets into Israel on Tuesday.
Israeli security sources expected the crossings may reopen on Friday and that higher security levels will allow more goods into the Gaza Strip, starting from Sunday.
The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza led by Hamas took hold last week. The deal calls on Israel to ease the embargo it has imposed on the coastal territory since Hamas took it over in June 2007 in exchange for calm.
Tuesday's rocket attack, which the Islamic Jihad said was in retaliation for an Israeli military action in the West Bank, blocked the gradual one-way reopening of the crossings before the Palestinians could feel any change in the amount of goods that entered Gaza.
The West Bank is not included in the ceasefire deal.
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoom said Hamas considered the Israeli decision to maintain the closure "a gross violation of the lull."
"When shutting the crossings, the Zionist occupation breaches the most important provision of the agreement," Barhoom said, describing the moves as a "unilateral behavior ruling out the role of the Egyptian mediator."
"This will force the Palestinian factions to restudy their position," he said.
Barhoom underlined that in line with the deal, Israel is required to completely lift the siege 10 days after the deal in force.
On Wednesday, Said Siam, Interior Minister of the deposed Hamas unity government in Gaza, met several Palestinian militant groups to discuss ways of preserving the ceasefire and how to respond when Israel stages military offensive in the West Bank though the territory is out of the deal.
Following the meeting, the Islamic Jihad promised that it would not unilaterally respond to Israeli violations as what happened on Tuesday.