Israel Cuts Off Goods to Gaza Over Kites Harming Crops

Analysis Why close the Kerem Shalom Gaza border crossing now

Gaza blockade: Israel shuts goods crossings to pressure Hamas

Gazans began launching the kites in April amid mass protests along the border calling for Palestinian refugees to be able to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

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.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been watching Gaza closely as it seeks to improve humanitarian conditions while sidelining Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group in the West.

"Hamas urges the global community to immediately intervene", said Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist group by Israel and the West.

Israel is ramping up its crackdown on the Islamic terror group Hamas.

Hamas leaders say shutting the Karam Abu Salem crossing is a crime against the Palestinian people.

"Kerem Shalom is the only commercial crossing for Gaza, although it was partially operating and it does not meet the real demand of the Gaza Strip", said al-Khoudari.

Netanyahu also warned in a series of posts on Twitter that "additional steps" will be taken to address the "Hamas regime ... immediately". "I am not detailing them", he told his parliamentary faction in broadcast remarks.

"Should this situation continue, the measures will stay in place and intensify", it said. This happens on occasion, and usually lasts for only three months at a time with the objective of boosting Gaza's economy, which is heavily reliant on the fishing sector. "So we will be back to fishing at only six nautical miles soon", Ayash explained.

Although the expansion allows the fishermen to reach a wider array of fish, the nine-mile nautical border is still not enough to serve some 1,000 boats.

"What's needed is pressure on the global community".

Most recently, Quds-TV released footage of Israeli soldiers shooting and then dragging the bodies of Palestinian protesters near the border fence in Gaza - footage that directly contradicted the Israeli military's claims that the young men had tried to cross the border fence and that is why they were shot.

"The flotilla will set out at 11 a.m. tomorrow carrying sick and injured Palestinians who have been unable to travel overseas [for medical treatment] as a result of the blockade", Bassam Manasra, a spokesman for Gaza's National Committee for Breaking the Siege, said at a Monday press conference in Gaza City. The woman was holding a picture of her 15-year-old daughter, who was killed by Israeli gunfire during the deadly May protest.

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