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UN concerned over Israel’s closure of Kerem Shalom crossing

Point de passage des marchandises de Kerem Shalom entre Israël et Gaza
Porte-parole de l'armée israélienne

The United Nations expressed concern on Tuesday over Israel’s decision to shutter the Kerem Shalom goods crossing the day earlier and urged authorities to reverse the measure, warning of consequences.

“I am concerned by the consequences of Israel’s decision to temporarily suspend imports and exports with the exception of basic humanitarian supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing,” Nikolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said in a statement.

“Humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the authorities to reverse this decision,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, citing the continuous launching of fire kites from the coastal enclave towards the Jewish state, announced the closure of the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Speaking at the Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, he vowed to “act with a heavy hand against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.”

The army explained that humanitarian aid will continue to pass through the border, which includes medical and food supplies however it will require added special permission from the military liaison to the Palestinians Maj. Gen Kamil Abu Rokon.

In addition, the army said it would end the enlargement of the fishing zone in the strip’s waters that was extended from six to nine nautical miles for the past 6 months.

Over the past several months amid the weekly “March of Return” protests that began March 30, hostilities have surged as Palestinians have found new ways of inflicting damage and causing tension along the Israeli border.

MAHMUD HAMS (AFP)

The launching of thousands of kites and balloons affixed with incendiary devices, namely Molotov cocktails, has been used in recent weeks as popular way of inflicting costly destruction on Israeli land without putting themselves in danger.

The so-called “fire-kites” have scorched swathes of agricultural land near the border. Last month, an estimated 2,500 acres of land were destroyed and millions of dollars worth of damage.

“Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza should also do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations,” Mladenov wrote in his statement, apportioning the blame for the rising tensions.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using the protests as an excuse to carry out attacks on the Jewish State, accusing the group of attempting to deflect domestic opinion from ongoing internal matters. At least 130 Palestinians, of which at least 50 were identified as members of Hamas or other terrorist groups, have been killed by the use of Israeli lethal and non-lethal force.”

A Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum speaking in response to the crossing closure on Monday slammed it as “a new crime against humanity.” Ahead of the UN statement, he slammed “regional and international silence on the siege imposed” and said the international community’s lack of action “encouraged the Israeli enemy to continue its criminal actions that violate human rights.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad meanwhile called the move a "declaration of war."

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The UN vowed to continue “engagement with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, as well as regional and international partners to reduce tensions, support intra-Palestinian reconciliation and resolve all humanitarian challenges.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Hamas Political Bureau accepted an invitation by Egyptian officials to visit Cairo as part of a continued effort to square Palestinian-Arab matters and strengthen bilateral ties.

Egypt has played an instrumental role in the now stalled reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas.

The Kerem Shalom crossing serves as the main transportation point for humanitarian aid and commercial goods into the Gaza Strip which is regulated by the Defense Ministry Crossing Authority security inspectors in coordination with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Gaza's only other border crossing is with Egypt. That crossing has been largely closed in recent years, but Egypt has opened it since mid-May.

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

Comments

(5)

Let’s stop beating around the bush - Gaza was totally evacuated by Israel to give the Arabs what the said they wanted; Israel complied 100% what was the result? A “free” Gaza was created. It could have been exactly that but instead it was used as a platform to attack and destroy Israel. Most of these Arabs are immigrants to the area from about 1860 onwards when there was the early Jewish Zionist wave of return to rebuild the Jewish Homeland. The Afrikaners were in South Africa since 1652 but have been removed from the map. Why are these newly formed Arabs who are much less in number and not as old as the Afrikaner Nation (they had 2 internationally recognised Republics in the 19th century) given more credence than the Afrikaners? These Arabs have no real claim as a nation to any land in this area. Jordan is Arab Palestine. The Jews have a claim which predates their Exile by the Romans by nearly 2000 years making their claim nearly 4000 years old. Certainly this predates any Muslim “claims”. And oh please don’t tell me the Jews are Europeans. Anyone with knowledge of Torah, Mishna and Kabbalah will know it’s impossible to imitate this very great and ancient knowledge and wisdom .

UN should address Pal terrorism.

110 years of Islamofascist terrorism.

If you have on enemy dedicated to your total destruction and is bombing part of your country with incendiaries one does everything possible to stop them. These are acts of war that require adequate response. Prevent supplies reaching the enemy , blockade ports, shoot to kill. Artillery and rockets fired at your country are also involved. There is a word that sums up all these facts and it is War. A war that threatens your homeland and people require responses that will win that war. The U.N. EU and UNWRA have no place in this situation until their actions are even handed in dealing with this conflict. ‘

why is it only dhould do this and that but never the terroristrs that are senfing bombs over and they are bombs

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