Israel is ramping up its crackdown on the Islamic terror group Hamas.
The Palestinian group Hamas has condemned an Israeli decision to seal off the Karam Abu Salem commercial border crossing, the primary passageway that transfers necessities to residents of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Thirty-three fires broke out on Sunday in forests and agricultural areas in Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip borders, by incendiary kites and balloons.
Emad al-Efranji, the manager of Al-Quds TV in Palestine, said Israel wants to silence the media, as part of its campaign to hide its crimes against the Palestinian people.
Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, called the closure a "crime against humanity". "In a significant move, we will today shut down the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing", Reuters quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying in broadcast remarks to his parliamentary faction. "From fish and vegetables to clothing items and wood", he said.More news: Trump continues attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations during 2nd day of summit
Hundreds of women arrived at the Israeli-Gaza border on Tuesday to join the female version of the Great March of Return, denouncing Israeli occupation of the enclave.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also warned that Israel could punish Gaza even further.
Palestinian economists have decried the Israeli sanctions, warning that the move would aggravate Gaza's already dire humanitarian situation. "There will be other steps which I won't detail", he said.
"This situation, in which every day our woodlands are being burned every day, can not continue", Lieberman said on Monday, adding that "I've instructed the IDF to take several measures". Gaza's economy relies on the local fishing industry for income.
This was the second time in two months that a Gazan fishing vessel was used in an attempt to break the blockade, which Israel maintains is necessary to prevent terrorist organizations from bringing weapons into the coastal enclave.More news: Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur
Although the expansion allows the fishermen to reach a wider array of fish, the nine-mile nautical border is still not enough to serve some 1,000 boats.
No Israelis have been killed.
Since the demonstrations began on March 30, at least 137 Palestinian protesters have been martyred - and thousands more injured - by Israeli army gunfire.
"International and regional silence for the crime of the suffocating siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for (nearly) 12 years has encouraged the Israeli enemy to carry on with its criminal measures that violate human rights and worldwide laws", Barhum added.More news: Israel To Launch First Moon Mission This Year