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A Palestinian man rides on a truck carrying fruits as it arrives at Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, July 10, 2018.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Hamas condemns Israeli ban of gas and fuel into Gaza
By TOVAH LAZAROFF,KHALED ABU TOAMEH
07/16/2018
It will continue to allow in food and medicine on a case-by-case basis.
Hamas strongly condemned Israel’s decision to halted the flow of gas and fuel into Gaza from Tuesday to Sunday, but will continue to allow in food and medicine on a case by case basis.

The announcement of some of the harshest restrictions Israel has ever leveled against the Gaza Strip comes in the aftermath of a violent weekend in which Gaza Palestinians launched 200 rockets, mortars, and kites into southern Israel, injuring four people.

Egypt on Tuesday also closed its Gaza crossing, which is mainly used for pedestrian passage, but has also recently allowed for the passage of some goods.

The closure of the border crossing and called it a "crime against humanity,” Hamas said and warned that the decision would have "serious consequences."

Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Kanou said that the decision reflects Israel's "bad intention" and intention to "commit more crimes against the Palestinians."

He also called on the international community to "break its silence towards Israeli crimes against humanity."

Another Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qassem, also denounced the decision as a "crime," saying it was in violation of all international laws and conventions.

The decision, he said, is an expression of "political idiocy" and  won't affect the Palestinians' struggle and resolve to pursue freedom.

Monday’s announcement of some of the harshest restrictions Israel has ever leveled against the Gaza Strip comes in the aftermath of a violent weekend in which Gaza Palestinians launched 200 rockets, mortars, and kites into southern Israel, injuring four people.

Israel already halted the flow of commercial goods into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing last week, to protest the Palestinians launching flaming kites which over the last four months have burned thousands of acres of Israeli fields and forests.

The IDF published a statement on Monday from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s office, saying “In light of the continued terrorist attempts by the terrorist organization Hamas, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, in consultation with the chief of staff, decided to close the Kerem Shalom crossing for fuel and gas until Sunday. The crossing will continue to transport food and medicines that will be approved on a case-by-case basis.”

Israel has also restricted the Gaza fishing space to three nautical miles from six.

Palestinians are warning that food will also be banned. Raed Fattouh, head of the Gaza Committee for Coordinating the Entry of Goods into the Gaza Strip, said on Monday that Israel had informed the Palestinians of its decision to completely close the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip until further notice, and that the Israeli authorities told the Palestinians that it will allow only medical supplies into the Gaza Strip “when needed.”

Kerem Shalom is Gaza’s main commercial crossing. The other Israeli crossing at Erez is mostly for pedestrians. Neither Erez or the Egyptian Rafah crossing have the capacity to service Gaza’s commercial and humanitarian needs.

Gaza has only three land crossings. Gaza has no airport. It also lacks a seaport large enough for cargo ships to dock. Israel imposes a military blockade on Gaza’s air and sea space. So Gaza’s only access to the outside world is through its three land crossings.

Prior to the fuel and gas ban, the UN and the EU had called on Israel to allow the flow of commercial goods.
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