Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the closure of the crossing will be followed by additional measures.
The decision comes in response to continued arson terror perpetrated by Gazan terrorists via incendiary kites and balloons sent from Gaza into Israeli territory as well as other attempts at terror attacks, such as firing rockets. Israeli authorities say that the firebombs have set fire to 7,000 acres of forest and farmland in southern Israel. "As for Gaza, I've already told you that I have no intention to prematurely announce all of the steps we are taking".
"In agreement with the defense minister, we will act with a heavy hand against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip", Netanyahu said.
The crackdown includes the closing of Gaza's lone commercial crossing, at Kerem Shalom, for an indefinite period of time. "I will not go into details", he added.
An Israeli army statement announced an additional measure to be taken immediately.
In addition to the closure of Kerem Shalom, the decision was made not to allow the expansion of the fishing zone around Gaza to continue throughout the duration of the season.
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Israeli news outlet Ynet said that the fishing zone outside of Gaza would be curtailed to six miles from land, citing a statement by the Israeli Defense Forces.
If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify. Israel will also severely limit the ability of Palestinians to fish off the coast of the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas statement complained that "the regional and global silence on the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than twelve years has encouraged the Israeli Occupation to continue its criminal actions in clear violation of human rights and worldwide law, and therefore Hamas calls on the global community to act immediately to prevent this crime and its grave consequences, end the siege of Gaza and stop the crimes of the Occupation and its violations against the civilian population of the Strip and bear all the consequences of these arbitrary policies".
Addressing a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that Israel will step up its efforts to stop the kites and balloons loaded with incendiary materials that are organized and directed by Hamas. This will permit Israel to impose economic sanctions on the network.
The arson attacks began during mass demonstrations along the border, at which thousands of Palestinians have expressed their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel and also demanded an end to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt. During the first march, 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded. In addition, May 14 is the day announced by the Trump administration when the official US embassy to Israel will move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
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Belgium are buzzing after their victory over Brazil while France are flying following their win against Uruguay. France´s Antoine Griezmann during training, Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg Russia - July 9, 2018.
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