Increasing the pressure on Hamas in Kerem Shalom

Transfer of fuel and gas to Gaza to be stopped until next week due to continued kite and balloon terrorism.

Elad Benari ,

Kerem Shalom crossing
Kerem Shalom crossing
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman decided on Monday evening, together with the IDF Chief of Staff, to close the Kerem Shalom Crossing to Gaza for fuel and gas transfers until Sunday. Food and medicines that will be approved on an individual basis will continue to be transferred through the crossing.

It was also decided that the fishing space in Gaza would be reduced from a range of six nautical miles to three nautical miles.

Liberman’s office said that the decision was made in light of Hamas' continued terrorist activity.

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Liberman announced that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be temporarily closed. The decision was made in response to the continued arson terror perpetrated by Gazan terrorists using incendiary kites and balloons sent from Gaza into Israeli territory, as well as other attempts at terror attacks.

The UN’s Middle East envoy later expressed concern over Israel’s decision to close the Kerem Shalom crossing and urged Israel to reverse the decision.

“Humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the authorities to reverse this decision,” said the envoy, Nickolay Mladenov.

At the same time, he also said “Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza should also do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations.”

The European Union also Israel for closing the Kerem Shalom crossing and demanded that Israel reverse the decision.