Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Israel says closing Gaza’s main trade terminal in anti-Hamas crackdown

Israel says closing Gaza’s main trade terminal in anti-Hamas crackdown

The Israeli Navy stopped and seized a fishing boat that attempted to break through the naval blockade around the Gaza Strip, arresting the eight Palestinians on board, some of them people injured in recent border clashes with Israeli troops, the military said.

"The crossing will be closed except for humanitarian equipment (including food and medicine) that will be approved on an individual basis", Israel s military said in a statement.

Translation: In addition (to closing the crossing), the extension of the Gaza Strip fishing zone to nine miles for the fishing season will expire, returning today to six miles.

However, Israeli officials have been outraged by some demonstrators' use of incendiary kites and balloons, which they fly over the separation fence into Israel, claiming that the kites have sparked fires damaging some 7,000 acres of farmlands and forests.

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.

On May 29, another vessel from the Gaza Strip, called Al-Hurriyah (Liberty), attempted to run the blockade.

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The move, which will come into effect on Tuesday, will only allow for the transfer of humanitarian needs such as cooking gas as well as wheat and flour into Gaza, an official responsible for coordinating the movement of cargo through the border confirmed to Al Jazeera from Gaza. "There will be additional steps". The incendiary kites unit mentioned in a statement that Israel's aim to increase the siege to prevent the launching of more incendiary kites is proof of its failure to manage the conflict.

Translation: If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify.

Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: "I am leaving to be cared for overseas".

"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.

The unit added that Israel's decision is not a solution and that Israel will be defeated by the people of Gaza. The woman was holding a picture of her 15-year-old daughter, who was killed by Israeli gunfire during the deadly May protest.

Hamas decried Monday's measures as "a new Israeli crime against humanity".

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