Israel shells military facility in Gaza in retaliation for arson kite attacks

Netanyahu vows to stop arson terror during surprise visit to south

PM Netanyahu at a kindergarten in Sderot Netanyahu vows to stop arson terror during surprise visit to south

The IDF on Sunday said it fired at a group of Palestinians flying incendiary balloons into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. "But we need and I hope we will have the full cooperation of all Palestinians and all Israelis who are sick and exhausted of war and conflict, who want to live in peace, and who want to see their lives not constantly threatened by rockets or air strikes", Mr. Mladenov underscored.

"Particularly worrying is the impact that shortfalls in fuel will have on the provision of critical health, water and sanitation services in Gaza", U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Israel also made a decision to reduce the Gaza fishing zone from six to just three nautical miles.

The ministry said the Kerem Shalom crossing, which was already shuttered to commercial trade last week, was closed to gas and fuel transfers on Monday but will remain open for food and medicine deliveries.

Israel has been warning Hamas that while it has no interest in exacerbating hostilities, it will not tolerate Gaza militants' continued efforts to breach the border and its campaign of incendiary attacks on Israeli border communities.

This step in only one in several other measures Israel has taken in the last few days to further strangulate an already hard-hit Gaza Strip, as confirmed by worldwide humanitarian agencies.

Israel and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza when Hamas reinforced its power over the territory in 2007 by ousting its rivals, a year after winning legislative elections.

Israel also warned that unless the balloons stop, it is going to escalate its punitive measures and also close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for individuals.

Israel has tightened restrictions on its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip, after Palestinians carried out fresh attacks with incendiary balloons.

Israel pounded Hamas targets in its most massive bombardment since the 2014 war, while militants fired dozens of rockets toward Israel that halted daily life in the area.

Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 130 Palestinian protesters have been martyred - and thousands more injured - by Israeli army gunfire. The majority of those killed were involved in protests and clashes but others were seeking to breach or damage the border fence.

Hours later, Israel launched air strikes in Gaza.

Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.

The issue reportedly led to a debate between Israel's military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot and far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett during a security cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The high casualty toll triggered a diplomatic backlash against Israel and new charges of excessive use of force against unarmed protesters.

Amidincreasing tensions in the Palestinian territory over the weekend, Israeli violence against children in the blockaded Gaza Strip has come to the fore once again.

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