GAZA, June 7, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli warplanes Sunday shelled a location north of the Gaza Strip while the Israeli army declared a full closure of both Beit Hanoun and Karem Abu Salem border crossings under the pretext of rocket fire from Gaza.
According to WAFA correspondent in Gaza, Israeli warplanes have targeted one location in the besieged strip, causing severe damage to civilians’ properties.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Jamal al-Khudari, head of the popular committee against the siege, denounced the closure of Gaza’s two crossings and only gates to the world, describing it a tightening of the suffocating siege, which leads to increasing Gaza’s crises.
In a press release, he said that such decision would hinder the entry of essential products and material, which are usually delivered through Karem Abu Salem crossing and obstruct the partial movement through Beit Hanoun crossing; both considered a blatant targeting of Gaza’s fragile stability.
Al-Kudari affirmed that all crossings are already closed except for Karem Abu Salem and Beit Hanoun, both working part-time, thus shouldn’t be subjected to closures. In this context, he called for opening all crossings to ensure freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza.
“What is delivered through the crossings into Gaza comes within the framework of humanitarian aid. Therefore, hindering the work of and closing these crossings stand against all international agreements and require international penalties against Israel.”
The closure of these crossings will also affect the delivery of Diesel used to run the Gaza power plant, which might affect the work of hospitals and municipalities among other institutions.
The Israeli Channel 7 reported on the Israeli deputy army minister Eli Ben Dahan saying that Israel is considering a permanent closure of construction materials’ entry into Gaza.
He said that such move is one of many, which should be adopted until a final halt of rocket fire from Gaza.
Last Thursday, Israeli warplanes shelled multiple locations across the besieged Strip with at least five rockets, after reports of rocket fire from Gaza.
Israeli Army Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, “We advise no one to test the patience of Israel against terrorism… If the need arises, the Israeli army will respond to any attacks with a larger force.”
Even though Israeli security reports indicated that Salafi groups other than Hamas might be responsible for the rocket fire, Israel held Hamas responsible for the situation in the Gaza Strip.
The situation in Gaza continues to be a critical humanitarian crisis. Palestinian refugees in Gaza continue to live a nine-year-old siege from both land and sea.
The United Nations’ Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories, James Rowley earlier this year called for lifting the siege imposed by Israel on the people of Gaza.
Rowley said in a press conference which was held in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city that the siege has greatly affected health and humanitarian Services and emphasized that the blockade should be lifted to end the suffering of Gaza’s patients.
Whole neighborhoods across the strip have been reduced to rubble by the extensive Israeli airstrikes, leaving about 475,000 Palestinians refugees displaced for yet another time.
Israel and the Palestinian factions inked a ceasefire deal on August 26, ending the 2014 deadly Israeli onslaught on Gaza that claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, overwhelmingly civilians.
The ceasefire deal stipulated that Israel must ease the blockade imposed on the strip and the restrictions on the unilaterally-imposed fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.
According to UN institutions’ statistics, around 15,000 Gaza refugees are still living in UN-run schools almost a year after the end of the latest war, as they have no other choice after losing their homes.
Even without rockets being fired from Gaza, Israel has failed to adhere to its agreement, repeatedly violating the ceasefire deal through opening fire on Palestinian fishermen within the fishing zone and farmers who tend to their land close to Gaza’s borders.
Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas won the democratic legislative elections and took over power in the strip.
The Egyptian authorities continue to close the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt almost entirely and are only opening it for extreme humanitarian cases.