For second time in 2 months, IDF intercepts Gaza blockade-running boat

13 2018 shows the gate of the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah

"There will be additional steps which I won't detail", he added.

Trucks loaded with humanitarian needs only were allowed on Tuesday into the Palestinian territory through the Kerem Shalom crossing, south of Gaza, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

The military statement did not say how long the crossing - which had served as Gaza's only functioning commercial crossing - would remain closed.

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. The Hamas terrorist organisation is responsible for what is happening inside the Gaza Strip and coming out of it. Hamas is dragging the population of Gaza into the abyss, and the Israeli Defence Forces will continue to work to preserve Israel's security interests.

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

"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.

Since March 30, Palestinians in Gaza have also been protesting for Palestinians' right to return to the homes from which they were expelled from in 1948.


March organisers have rejected such allegations, stating that while Hamas has participated in the demonstrations like other Palestinian political factions, the group was not playing a leading role in the protests.

In a meeting with Fatah Party leaders on Sunday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas declared that he would not stop paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families, despite new Israeli legislation withholding funds in the amount paid to killers and attackers from taxes collected for the P.A.

A second flotilla is to set sail from the Gaza to Cyprus in a show of protest against the Israeli regime's crippling siege of the coastal enclave, which has been in place for more than a decade.

Palestinians have been launching kites and balloons carrying containers of burning fuel and explosive devices over the Gaza-Israel border since April.

The United Nations says 43,087 lorryloads of goods arrived through the crossing in the first five months of 2018.

"The expansion of the designated fishing zone in the Gaza Strip for the past three months during the fishing season, from six to nine naval miles, ends today and will not be extended".

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a sharp decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

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