Humanitarian Fleet Seeks to Break Israeli Blockade on Gaza

Humanitarian Fleet Seeks to Break Israeli Blockade on Gaza

Israel is ramping up its crackdown on the Islamic terror group Hamas.

In a meeting with Fatah Party leaders on Sunday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas declared that he would not stop paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families, despite new Israeli legislation withholding funds in the amount paid to killers and attackers from taxes collected for the P.A.

"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.

Hamas blasted Israel's blockade, calling it a "crime against humanity and the Palestinian people".

"In agreement with the defence minister, we will act with a heavy hand against the Hamas regime in the Strip", Netanyahu said. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says Tel Aviv will shut down the Kerem Shalom crossing with immediate effect. "From fish and vegetables to clothing items and wood", he said.

Some seventeen people were by Israeli gunfire, according to AFP citing Gaza's health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra.

Israel also said it was ending a seasonal expansion of the fishing zone off Gaza, returning it to six nautical miles instead of nine.

Israeli Knesset (Parliament) member said that the listing of al-Quds TV as "terrorist media" is, "the continuation of a silencing crusade by the extreme right-wing government to trample the freedom of speech".

Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: "I am leaving to be cared for overseas". Gaza's economy relies on the local fishing industry for income.

The maritime security cordon only allows Palestinian fishermen to fish within 9 nautical miles from the coast, any boat surpassing the line will be seized.

The "Freedom Boat 2" is the second humanitarian flotilla to set out from blockaded Gaza since Palestinians first began holding regular rallies along the Gaza-Israel security fence on March 30.

"The three-month mark is about to end anyway", he said.

"What's needed is pressure on the worldwide community".

An Israeli military statement said the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza would revert to 11 km after being temporarily expanded to 17 km.

Since 30 March 2018, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire and thousands have been injured while participating in regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel security fence.

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