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Israel shuts primary Gaza crossing over border violence

12 July 2018
Israel shuts primary Gaza crossing over border violence

Meanwhile, Raed Fattouh, a member of the Palestinian liaison and coordinator of the goods shipment at Kerem Shalom crossing, said in a statement that Israel has informed the liaison office about the closure of the commercial crossing.

Israel had been using drones to intercept the kites, but Palestinians have had some success in bringing the drones down.

In previous retaliatory measures, Israel struck targets belonging to Hamas, blaming the group for the launching of the kites.

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

"We used to export all sorts of things", Futooh, 44, said.

"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.

The blockade, coupled with three devastating wars since 2009, has impacted Palestinians' livelihoods in Gaza - as high unemployment, barely existent power and water-treatment infrastructure, loss of agricultural lands and war-related trauma led the United Nations to warn in 2015 that Gaza would become "unliveable" by 2020. "There will be additional steps".

The military will also stop Gaza's fishermen sailing more than six nautical miles (11 km) offshore in the Mediterranean Sea, after having extended the limit to nine miles (17km) for the past three months. Gaza's economy relies on the local fishing industry for income.

He said that the P.A. would continue to give salaries to those who participated in terror attacks against Jews, as it has done since 1965.

Israel's blockade restricts Gazan boats to up to six nautical miles off the enclave.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch's Israel-Palestine director, said the economic measure by Israel was an act of "collective punishment". "Therefore, Hamas calls on the worldwide community to act immediately and prevent this crime and its unsafe consequences". "Israel must end its long and cruel closure of Gaza", he said.

The "Great March for Return" began on March 30 of this year, when thousands of Gazans demonstrated near the border fence separating Gaza from Israel and sometimes attempted to break through the fence.

Organisers say the Gaza demonstrations aim to press demands such as for a right to lands lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its foundation and for an Israeli-Egyptian blockade to ease.