Gaza Sanctioned by Israel for 'Kite Blazes'

Gaza Sanctioned by Israel for 'Kite Blazes'

Israel has chose to close the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing with Gaza due to "launching of incendiary kites and other terrorist attempts", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The humanitarian aid, including food and medicine, will be the only exception allowed through the crossing, the statement added. In a significant move, we will today shut down the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing.

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.

Incendiary kites and helium-filled balloons have consumed at least 33-square-kilometer of land in southern Israel, according to official Israeli figures.

Since Mar. 30, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army gunfire - and thousands more injured - while taking part in regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel security fence.

In recent weeks, Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting against the naval, aerial and land blockade imposed by Israel and neighbouring Egypt since 2006.

Israel's military said the prime minister had ordered the closure of Kerem Shalom on Monday "in light of the ongoing arson terror and additional terror attempts, led by the Hamas terror organization".

"This situation, in which every day our woodlands are being burned every day, can not continue", Lieberman said on Monday, adding that "I've instructed the IDF to take several measures".

Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: "I am leaving to be cared for overseas".

"We will crack down immediately on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip", Netanyahu told his parliamentary faction, to applause from lawmakers. Almost half of the deaths occurred amid intense violence on May 14, when the United States moved its embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

The resolution condemned Israel's use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinian civilians and called for protection measures for the people of Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

The "Freedom Boat 2" is the second humanitarian flotilla to set out from blockaded Gaza since Palestinians first began holding regular rallies along the Gaza-Israel security fence on March 30.

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".