Israel Announces New Gaza Crackdown, Cutting Off Trade, Limiting Fishing

In response to Hamas arson attacks Israel will block Gaza crossing

Palestinians have been launching kites and balloons carrying containers of burning fuel and explosive devices over the Gaza-Israel border since April.

"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.

The Israeli army said in a statement that Kerem Shalom would remain open for the transfer of approved humanitarian goods.

Israel announced on Monday it was shutting down the Gaza Strip's only commercial crossing and reducing its designated fishing zone, tightening the siege in the Palestinian enclave more than 100 days into large-scale demonstrations. "There will be other steps which I won't detail", he said. The fishing zone is usually six naval miles wide but was temporarily expanded to nine miles three months ago.

Translation: If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify. The Hamas terrorist organization 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 Defense Forces will continue to work to preserve Israel's security interests.

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The Hamas statement complained that "the regional and global 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 worldwide law, and therefore Hamas calls on the global community to act immediately to prevent this crime and its grave consequences, end the siege of Gaza and stop the crimes of the Occupation and its violations against the civilian population of the Strip and bear all the consequences of these arbitrary policies".

"The decision of the Israeli government to close the only terminal leading to the Gaza Strip is a war crime against our people who are already dispossessed, and this will deepen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza", stated Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem.

Addressing a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that Israel will step up its efforts to stop the kites and balloons loaded with incendiary materials that are organized and directed by Hamas.

When the Great March for Return began, Israeli authorities were concerned that if a group of Gaza activists broke through the fence, they would attack Israeli homes.

The demonstrations peaked on May 14, which the Palestinians commemorate as "Naqba Day" or "Catastrophe Day", commemorating the founding, in 1948, of the state of Israel. They said the new "sanctions" against the strip are aimed at punishing Hamas for the use of flaming kites in cross-border attacks.

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