Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Israel Shuts Down Gaza Crossing in Response to Attacks from Hamas

Israel Shuts Down Gaza Crossing in Response to Attacks from Hamas

The United Nations has criticised Israel's closure of the primary passageway for basic goods to residents of the besieged Gaza Strip.

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

Only "humanitarian equipment", including food and medicine, will now be allowed through Kerem Shalom. "There will be additional steps".

The flaming kites have set fires to forest and farmland, and have done some damage, though inflicted few casualties.

"The damage being caused to agricultural lands in Israel is grave and deplorable, but collectively punishing almost two million people in Gaza by closing its only official crossing for the movement of goods is both illegal and morally depraved", it wrote on Twitter.

Translation: If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify. Israel will also severely limit the ability of Palestinians to fish off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

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Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesperson for the terror group Hamas, on Monday issued a statement saying "Benjamin Netanyahu's approval of additional measures imposed on the Gaza Strip to further tighten the siege and prevent the entry of goods into the already crippled coastal enclave is a new crime against humanity added to the record of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people".

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

The arson attacks began during mass demonstrations along the border, at which thousands of Palestinians have expressed their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel and also demanded an end to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt. The objective was for Palestinians to exercise their "Right of Return" to regain the lands where their ancestors had lived prior to the 1947 war between Arabs and Jews that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Israel's army retaliated first with tear gas and then with live gunfire.

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. In addition, May 14 is the day announced by the Trump administration when the official USA embassy to Israel will move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The incendiary kites and balloons appear to have baffled the Israeli military, which has not found a way to deal with them, putting the Netanyahu government under pressure to solve the problem.

The prime minister announced the closure of Kerem Shalom crossing in retaliation for Hamas's kites and balloons carrying firebombs that have destroyed thousands of acres in the south.

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