Russian diplomat, Hamas leader discuss situation in Gaza Strip


Israel has shut the main cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip in retaliation for arson attacks by Palestinians and attempts to infiltrate its territory.

Jamal al-Khoudari, chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Israeli Siege of Gaza, said in an emailed statement that Israel's decision "to close Kerem Shalom is a new measure to tighten the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for 12 years".

The crackdown includes the closing of Gaza's lone commercial crossing, at Kerem Shalom, for an indefinite period of time. In a significant move, we will today shut down the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing.

The military will also stop Gaza's fishermen sailing more than six nautical miles (11 km) offshore in the Mediterranean Sea, after having extended the limit to nine miles (17km) for the past three months. Israel says it has lost 7,000 acres of forests and farmland to the kite- or balloon-set fires.

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Since 30 March 2018, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire and thousands have been injured while participating in regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel security fence.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from Gaza.

"The arbitrary closure of the crossing would double the population's suffering", he added.

"After the boat and the Palestinians on board are searched, the boat will be towed to the Israeli navy base in Ashdod", Israel's military said in a statement.

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"The Israeli side officially informed us that the shipment of goods and all kinds of products are banned except for food, medical aid, wheat, livestock and fuel", said Fattouh.

Translation: If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify.

Fresh Israeli sanctions on the blockaded Gaza Strip, including restrictions on the movement of goods, went into effect on Tuesday.

"International and regional silence for the crime of the suffocating siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for (nearly) 12 years has encouraged the Israeli enemy to carry on with its criminal measures that violate human rights and worldwide laws", Barhum added. "I am not detailing them". "There will be additional steps". "Therefore, Hamas calls on the worldwide community to act immediately and prevent this crime and its unsafe consequences". At least 145 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

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The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been watching Gaza closely as it seeks to improve humanitarian conditions while sidelining Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group in the West.