Israel closes Gaza goods crossing over Palestinian arson kites

Gaza blockade: Israel shuts goods crossings to pressure Hamas

Tension along the Israel-Gaza border could ease if Israel were to allow in 5,000 Gazans from the besieged enclave on work permits, according to a Qatari diplomat mediating to resolve the dispute, Reuters reported.

Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, called on the global community to intervene immediately to prevent what it called a "new crime against humanity".

Netanyahu said he and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had made a decision to "act with a heavy hand against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the closure of the crossing will be followed by additional measures.

But Palestinians view the cheap, flying devices to be a tool of resistance against the well-armed Israeli forces stationed behind the fence that have killed at least 136 Palestinians since the beginning of the March of Return.

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.

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 economy in Gaza is already extremely damaged due to the siege and the various Israeli assaults, but the latest move will worsen the state of the strip to a further extent".

Netanyahu also warned in a series of posts on Twitter that "additional steps" will be taken to address the "Hamas regime ... immediately". "I will not go into details", he added.

The Israeli government also chose to reduce the area allowed for fishing in the sea of Gaza from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles, according to the Israeli media.

"We do not intend to continue absorbing and continuing with this situation", Lieberman said in separate comments to his own parliamentary faction.

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

In addition, Israel will reimpose restrictions on the zone it allows Gazan fishermen to reach with their boats.

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

Israeli news outlet Ynet said that the fishing zone outside of Gaza would be curtailed to six miles from land, citing a statement by the Israeli Defense Forces.

People taking part in more than three months of protests at the Gaza border have started scores of fires by sending the balloons and kites into Israel, vexing its advanced military which is used to dealing with more conventional weapons.

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