Boat from Gaza challenges Israeli blockade

12 July, 2018, 23:24 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Gaza blockade: Israel shuts goods crossings to pressure Hamas

Israel has made a decision to close the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing with Gaza due to "launching of incendiary kites and other terrorist attempts", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The shuttered Kerem Shalom crossing is Gaza's main conduit for trade - albeit under years of Israeli restrictions. "There will be additional steps. I am not detailing them", he told his parliamentary faction in broadcast remarks.

"Freedom Flotilla Coalition mentioned that their "Right to a Just Future for Palestine flotilla" that is on its way to Gaza will carry as many medical supplies as our four boats can safely hold", calling on the worldwide community to help Gazans get pass Israel forces.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also warned that Israel could punish Gaza even further.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch's Israel-Palestine director, said the economic measure by Israel was an act of "collective punishment".

Almost 140 people have been killed by Israeli gunfire during the popular demonstrations - dubbed the Great March of Return - that have been taking place along the fence separating Gaza from Israel.

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

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

A second humanitarian fleet left the Gaza Strip today with the aim of ending 11 years of Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave, announced a Palestinian organization. During the first march, 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded.

The Israeli government's decision to close the commercial crossing was an response to the flaming kites and balloons flying from Gaza into Israel, which caused large fires and losses in the Israeli territory. No Israeli casualties have been recorded.

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.

It quoted officials from the United Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, saying the cuts in global contributions will affect its programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

Abbas also stressed that new attempts to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority led by U.S. President Donald Trump will fail, saying that Palestinians "will not let the "Deal of the Century" work".

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