Israel is tightening its blockade on Gaza by stopping fuel deliveries

Marsha Scott
July 18, 2018

Israeli aircraft struck militant targets in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians launched dozens of mortar bombs and rockets from the enclave into Israel on Saturday, the Israeli military said.

Israel has accused Hamas and other Palestinian militant organisations of co-ordinating the arson attacks but numerous perpetrators are believed to be teenagers and children as young as...

The legislation has been dubbed the "Breaking the Silence" law, a reference to the Israeli group of that name which collects and publishes testimony from Israeli veterans about the military's treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and during conflicts with militants in Gaza.

While the groups acknowledged that the damage incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza have caused Israeli fields and farmland was "severe", they said the Israeli response "cannot be to deliberately harm innocent civilians".

Those Israeli air strikes were partially in response to the months of fires started by the kite firebombs, but also over continuing protests and clashes along the Gaza border.

The Kerem Shalom crossing serves as the main transportation point for humanitarian aid and commercial goods into the Gaza Strip which is regulated by the Defense Ministry Crossing Authority security inspectors in coordination with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The restrictions went into effect Tuesday on Israel's only cargo border crossing.

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In the other direction "more than 60 rockets" were fired at southern Israel from Gaza, the Israeli military said, of which "approximately 10 rockets were intercepted".

Reiterating a sentiment he had expressed on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, "To us, there is no such thing as a ceasefire that excludes the incendiary kites and balloons".

"The Israeli army is prepared and ready for any mission we give it", Lieberman said during a visit to the border area Tuesday.

The military said the closure would continue as long as Palestinians persist in launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.

The European Union also criticized the restrictions, saying it "expects Israel to reverse these decisions" which risked "further aggravating the already dire economic situation in Gaza". At least 137 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza for over a decade in an attempt to weaken Hamas. Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to protect its citizens from weapon smuggling.

The weekend's violence came after months of near-weekly border demonstrations aimed in part to protest the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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