Gaza blockade: Israel shuts goods crossings to pressure Hamas

13 2018 shows the gate of the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah

13 2018 shows the gate of the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah

"In agreement with the defense minister, we will act with a heavy hand against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip", Netanyahu said.

The crackdown includes the closing of Gaza's lone commercial crossing, at Kerem Shalom, for an indefinite period of time.

Israel also cut the area fishing boats are allowed to operate off Gaza's Mediterranean coast and blacklisted what it described as a pro-Hamas TV channel. Israeli authorities say that the firebombs have set fire to 7,000 acres of forest and farmland in southern Israel. The Hamas terrorist organisation is responsible for what is happening inside the Gaza Strip and coming out of it. Hamas is dragging the population of Gaza into the abyss, and the Israeli Defence Forces will continue to work to preserve Israel's security interests. "The regional and worldwide silence on the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than twelve years has encouraged the Israeli Occupation to continue its criminal actions in clear violation of human rights and global law".

Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, called on the global community to intervene immediately to prevent what it called a "new crime against humanity".

Since Mar. 30, more than 130 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire - and thousands more injured - while taking part in regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel security fence.


Israel imposed sanctions on the Gaza Strip and its dominant Hamas Islamists on Monday in retaliation for attacks by Palestinians using burning kites and helium balloons carrying blazing rags.

Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: "I am leaving to be cared for overseas".

March organisers have rejected such allegations, stating that while Hamas has participated in the demonstrations like other Palestinian political factions, the group was not playing a leading role in the protests.

Following the Palestinian power struggle, Israel imposed a stringent siege on Gaza in 2007 - supported by Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - restricting the movement of people and civilians in and out of the coastal territory, and installing land and sea "buffer zones" in Gaza. Gaza's economy relies on the local fishing industry for income.

Israeli naval forces on Tuesday intercepted a Palestinian humanitarian flotilla that attempted to break the years-long blockade of Gaza.

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