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33 fires break out in Israeli Gaza-border communities by incendiary kites

12 July 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will be closing the Gaza Strip's main commercial crossing and limiting the Palestinian coastal enclave's fishing zone in response to the protests in form of incendiary balloons across the borders.

In recent weeks, Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting against the naval, aerial and land blockade imposed by Israel and neighbouring Egypt since 2006.

"The damage being caused to agricultural lands in Israel is grave and deplorable, but collectively punishing almost two million people in Gaza by closing its only official crossing for the movement of goods is both illegal and morally depraved", it wrote on Twitter.

Emad al-Efranji, the manager of Al-Quds TV in Palestine, said Israel wants to silence the media, as part of its campaign to hide its crimes against the Palestinian people. "The occupation regime is responsible for the political, legal and security consequences of this decision". "From fish and vegetables to clothing items and wood", he said.

"But the way Hamas is conducting itself - it is simply liable to spiral out of control and it is liable to pay the whole price, a much, much heavier price" than in the last Gaza war, in 2014, he told reporters.

Speaking from the enclave, Nizar Ayash, head of Gaza's fishermen's union, said the Strip's 4,000 registered fishermen would take precautionary measures when leaving shore on Tuesday.

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The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been watching Gaza closely as it seeks to improve humanitarian conditions while sidelining Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group in the West.

"I came to finish the march that my daughter had started", Rim Abu Irmana said as cited by AFP. Gaza's economy relies on the local fishing industry for income. "So we will be back to fishing at only six nautical miles soon", Ayash explained.

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

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

"Latest Israeli procedures of tightening up the blockade on Gaza will not force Palestinians to give up on Palestine", al-Thawabtah said.

Most recently, Quds-TV released footage of Israeli soldiers shooting and then dragging the bodies of Palestinian protesters near the border fence in Gaza - footage that directly contradicted the Israeli military's claims that the young men had tried to cross the border fence and that is why they were shot. At least 145 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

33 fires break out in Israeli Gaza-border communities by incendiary kites