Israel seizes boat from Gaza seeking to break blockade

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visits the offices of al Watan TV after a pre-dawn IDF raid in Ramallah on Wednesday. The computer screen on the right shows a soldier during the raid

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visits the offices of al Watan TV after a pre-dawn IDF raid in Ramallah on Wednesday. The computer screen on the right shows a soldier during the raid

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing point between Israel and Gaza.

Tel Aviv made the move in response to Palestinians launching incendiary kites across the border.

Israel and Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, have fought three wars since 2008. "I will not go into details", he added.

People taking part in more than three months of protests at the Gaza border have started scores of fires by sending the balloons and kites into Israel, vexing its advanced military which is used to dealing with more conventional weapons. Israel said some humanitarian goods would still be allowed through the terminal.

The arson attacks began during mass demonstrations along the border, at which thousands of Palestinians have expressed their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel and also demanded an end to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt. The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for what is happening inside the Gaza Strip and coming out of it. Hamas is dragging the population of Gaza into the abyss, and the Israeli Defense Forces will continue to work to preserve Israel's security interests.

Israel announced on Monday it was shutting down the Gaza Strip's only commercial crossing and reducing its designated fishing zone, tightening the siege in the Palestinian enclave more than 100 days into large-scale demonstrations.

Translation: In addition (to closing the crossing), the extension of the Gaza Strip fishing zone to nine miles for the fishing season will expire, returning today to six miles. "Therefore, Hamas calls on the worldwide community to act immediately and prevent this crime and its risky consequences".

The flaming kites have set fires to forest and farmland, and have done some damage, though inflicted few casualties. During the first march, 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded.

"The damage being caused to agricultural lands in Israel is grave and deplorable, but collectively punishing almost two million people in Gaza by closing its only official crossing for the movement of goods is both illegal and morally depraved", it wrote on Twitter.

Under the blockade, which was put in place in 2007, Palestinians are forbidden to travel more than 11 kilometers (seven miles) from the Gaza shore.

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