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.
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.
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.
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.
Egypt has also maintained the blockade with Israel over the strip, in an attempt to weaken Hamas.
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.
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.
Source: Palestine Chronicle