World Bulletin / News Desk
“Israel has enforced its Monday decision of closing the Kerem Shalom crossing,” Raed Fattouh, chairman of a Palestinian Authority-affiliated committee for the delivery of goods into the Gaza Strip, told Anadolu Agency.
He said only medicines and foodstuffs were allowed into Gaza through the crossing on Tuesday.
Last week, Israel imposed fresh sanctions on the Gaza Strip, including restrictions on the movement of goods and a reduction of the area off Gaza’s coast in which Palestinian fishermen are allowed to ply their trade.
According to a statement released by the Israeli army, the Kerem Shalom border crossing will be closed in response to “incendiary kite attacks” by Palestinian activists.
Palestinian economists have decried the Israeli sanctions, warning that the move would aggravate Gaza’s already dire humanitarian situation.
In recent weeks, Palestinian activists have been flying flaming kites and balloons over Israeli territory as part of ongoing rallies along the security fence.
Since the rallies began on Mar. 30, more than 130 Palestinian protesters have been martyred -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli army gunfire.
Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal territory’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of basic commodities.