Israel has tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip after preventing fuel and gas from transferring through its only goods crossing, the Kerem crossing, into the strip, even as a ceasefire was announced a few days ago.
The Israeli military said that it will only allow foods and essential medicines to cross.
Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement on Monday that the gesture applied from Tuesday until next Sunday, in response to the continued firing of kites carrying firebombs from Gaza.
“In light of the continued terror attempts by the Hamas terrorist organisation,” the statement read, “(Lieberman) has decided to close the Kerem Shalom crossing to imports of oil and gas until this Sunday.”
The statement added, “the crossing will continue to transfer food and medicine that are individually approved.”
Meanwhile, Egypt announced on Monday closing its Rafah crossing with Gaza, according to Israeli and Palestinian media, but there has been no confirmation from the Egyptian side.
The Kerem crossing is the only one between Israel and Gaza for food transport, while the Erez crossing is for people.
Monday’s Israeli decision came after the heaviest exchange of fire since the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza factions.
Despite a ceasefire being reached between the Islamic Jihad and Hamas and Israel, brokered by Egypt and the UN, fighting continued along the Israel-Gaza borders.
Hamas on Sunday fired mortars into Israel, while Israel responded by destroying one of the Hamas’ sites, as well as launching three airstrikes into Gaza.
Over the last few months, tensions have escalated between Israel and Gaza, after thousands of Palestinians demonstrated at the Gaza’s borders demanding the right of return, lifting the blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, and protesting the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the holy city they consider the capital of their future independent state.
Israel accused Hamas of inciting protests across its borders and justified its violence against demonstrators, which killed more than 127 Palestinians and injured more than 4,000, including children and women, by saying it has the right to defend its borders.
© 2021 Daily News Egypt.