Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

Israel Closes Crossing Point Into Gaza, Halting Imports and Exports

Israel Closes Crossing Point Into Gaza, Halting Imports and Exports

Responding to the unceasing wave of bomb-laden kites and balloons that have set fire to thousands of acres in the south, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Israel will be closed.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said children in the Gaza Strip are the main victims of the Israeli atrocities, where some 1.8 million people are living under a crippling blockade.

Earlier this year, Emadi was kicked out from a hospital in Gaza by the staff who also threw shoes at him.

Palestinian truck drivers park their lorries near the Kerem Shalom crossing between the southern Gaza Strip and the occupied territories on March 22, 2018.

The Israeli army said in a statement that Kerem Shalom would remain open for the transfer of approved humanitarian goods. "There will be additional steps".

"We will double our efforts against Hamas", he said, adding that Israel would "deal with Hamas with a heavier hand", but did not give any details.

In a statement, the IDF said that while Israel was seeking to improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, it will not tolerate Hamas exploiting the Gazan residents to launch arson and explosive balloons and kites against the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.


"Hamas calls on the worldwide community to intervene immediately to prevent this crime", Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhoum said in a statement.

In addition to the closure of Kerem Shalom, the decision was made not to allow the expansion of the fishing zone around Gaza to continue throughout the duration of the season.

Palestinians see the strategy as a way of inflicting economic damage on Israel in protest without risking their lives by approaching the border fence.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of organising the Great March of Return - a mass protest that began on 30 March, calling for an end to the 11-year Israeli-led blockade of Gaza and for Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel.

But Palestinians view the cheap, flying devices to be a tool of resistance against the well-armed Israeli forces stationed behind the fence that have killed at least 136 Palestinians since the beginning of the March of Return. A separate crossing, known as Erez, is for people.

Gaza's only other border crossing is with Egypt.

United Nations officials and rights activists have repeatedly called for Israel to lift the blockade against Gaza, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

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