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Israel's reinforced blockade on Gaza highlight of dailies — Newspapers Review

12 July 2018

After Netanyahu's decision to increase the siege on Gaza, the "incendiary kites unit" of return camps in the central Gaza Strip threatened on Tuesday to escalate the number of incendiary kites and explosive balloons targeting Israeli fields surrounding Gaza.

Tension along the Israel-Gaza border could ease if Israel were to allow in 5,000 Gazans from the besieged enclave on work permits, according to a Qatari diplomat mediating to resolve the dispute, Reuters reported.

The shuttered Kerem Shalom crossing is Gaza's main conduit for trade - albeit under years of Israeli restrictions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman had agreed to be "heavy-handed with the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip - immediately".

"There will be additional steps which I won't detail", he added.

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"The decision of the Israeli government to close the only terminal leading to the Gaza Strip is a war crime against our people who are already dispossessed, and this will deepen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza", stated Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem.

"Hamas urges the worldwide community to immediately intervene", said Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist group by Israel and the West.

The Israeli government also made a decision to reduce the area allowed for fishing in the sea of Gaza from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles, according to the Israeli media.

Palestinians in Gaza have been using flaming kites to set agricultural land on fire.

Palestinians see the strategy as a way of inflicting economic damage on Israel in protest without risking their lives by approaching the border fence.

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The majority were involved in protests and clashes, but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.

No Israelis have been killed.

Israel also cut the area fishing boats are allowed to operate off Gaza's Mediterranean coast and blacklisted what it described as a pro-Hamas TV channel.

"Israel realizes the danger our media agency poses to its colonialist ideology; it knows we focus on legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially Jerusalem, and our mission to expose Trump's so-called Deal of the Century", al-Efranji stated, "We are the first station that has special programming for our people in historic Palestine, and we have various shows that focuses on the detainees and refugees".

He also urged Gaza's militant Hamas rulers to "do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations".

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United Nations officials and rights activists have repeatedly called for Israel to lift the blockade against Gaza, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Israel's reinforced blockade on Gaza highlight of dailies — Newspapers Review