Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after they announced the closure of the crossing.
The defense ministry announced late on Monday that fuel and gas deliveries will be suspended. The fishing zone enforced by Israel off the Gaza Strip will also be further reduced from six nautical miles to three.
— bintroo (@bintroo) July 17, 2018
The goods crossing, known as Karam Abu Salem, will remain open only for food and medicine on a case-by-case basis.
Hamas has denounced Israel’s latest punitive measure.
On Monday, Lieberman’s office announced new punitive measures at the Kerem Shalom crossing..The supply of fuel into the Strip was due to be halted..until..Sunday. The..fishing zone permitted to the Palestinians is also being reduced for a 2nd time"…
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) July 17, 2018
Israel’s latest measure comes following Israel’s initial closing of the Karam Abu Salem Crossing on July 9, when they announced only items deemed “humanitarian” by Israeli authorities will be allowed to enter Gaza including food, hygiene and medical supplies, fuel, animal feed and livestock.
Since then, 55 percent of goods can no longer enter Gaza under the new restrictions, exacerbating already dire humanitarian conditions.
Israeli decision to close Karim Abu Salem commercial crossing (no food will be allowed except medicine) is a spit by #Israel on the face of the UN and it’s agencies let alone the international community as a whole. #Gaza
— Ramy Abdu| د. رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) July 16, 2018
Hamas called the initial closing last week a “crime against humanity”.
The UN and Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, called Israel’s latest measure an act of “collective punishment”.
— al whit (@soitiz) July 17, 2018
A spokesperson from Gisha said:
“There is no other way of describing this measure other than collective punishment. Pretending to know what Gaza needs and trying to ‘manage the situation’ harkens back to earlier iterations of the closure, is morally depraved and constitutes a willful act of hubris in a volatile situation.”
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) July 11, 2018
Egypt has also maintained the blockade with Israel over the strip, in an attempt to weaken Hamas.
In a statement published yesterday, Gisha described the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing as “a sweeping measure of collective punishment that calls to mind past days of outright economic warfare on Gaza’s civilian population”. https://t.co/fO6p56K4kK https://t.co/fO6p56K4kK
— Dror Feiler (@DrorFeiler) July 14, 2018
The tightening of the blockade comes after Saturday’s air strikes. Israel hit dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing two Palestinian teenagers.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) July 15, 2018
The weekend’s violence came after months of near-weekly border demonstrations aimed in part to protest the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza. Nearly 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)