Israel closes Gaza border to goods in response to burning kites and balloons

Fuel, including gas, will not be allowed through Kerem Shalom until the end of the week


The only border crossing for goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip was partially closed on Tuesday following a weekend of rocket fire and air strikes.

Gas and fuel will be stopped at Kerem Shalom until next Sunday, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, although food and essential medical supplies will be allowed through.

He also announced a tighter naval blockade around the territory in the Mediterranean Sea.

Saturday saw some of the fiercest clashes seen in the region since the 2014 war, with Israel using air strikes and its Iron Dome defence system to respond to rockets fired from Gaza at communities in southern Israel.

Two Palestinians were killed in air strikes on Gaza City and four Israelis were wounded from a falling rocket in Sderot.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both separately announced on Sunday that they would observe a ceasefire, but their declaration did not stop people sending further incendiary kites and balloons that have set fields alight on the Israeli side of the border.

Mr Lieberman said Palestinians living in Gaza would be now prevented from sailing beyond three nautical miles off the coast — previously they could travel up to six miles — as part of an ongoing Israel-Egyptian blockade aimed at weakening Hamas, which controls the territory.

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