Israel suspends fuel deliveries to Gaza over arson attacks

Netanyahu vows to stop arson terror during surprise visit to south

Meanwhile, on Monday evening, Israel announced it would again close the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only crossing for commercial goods and the main crossing for humanitarian aid between Israel and Gaza, after a rocket was sacked into southern Israel earlier in the day despite a cease fire declared by Hamas late Saturday night.

The increased attacks on southern Israel by Hamas come at a time when the Palestinians lack an effective leadership to make peace with Israel.

Kites, balloons and even inflated condoms have been sent over by Palestinians in Gaza to start wildfires in Israeli fields.

While the groups acknowledged that the damage incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza have caused Israeli fields and farmland was "severe", they said the Israeli response "cannot be to deliberately harm innocent civilians".

The law comes amid renewed Israel violence against Palestinians in Gaza, where people have been protesting for months against a crippling Israeli blockade on the enclave.

It appeared to be the first case of Gaza militants using birds to attack Israel and authorities said they were considering filing a complaint - under the appropriate worldwide treaties - about the use of animals for militant activities.

Gaza militants fired more than 50 mortar bombs and rockets towards Israel, the military said, setting off sirens and sending Israelis fleeing to their shelters.

Hamas called Israel's import restrictions on Gaza a "crime against humanity".

Smoke rises from Israeli agricultural fields near the Gaza Strip border, after being set on fire by a molotov cocktail kite flown over by Palestinians as they protest by the border fence on May 14, 2018.

The Israeli non-governmental organisation Gisha, which promotes freedom of movement for Palestinians, said the "shutting down of Gaza's main lifeline is an abhorrent act of illegal collective punishment against the two million residents of Gaza, most of whom are children".

Israel's army said the strikes targeted an area near where arson balloons were launched.

The European Union also criticized the restrictions, saying it "expects Israel to reverse these decisions" which risked "further aggravating the already dire economic situation in Gaza".

From right, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Brig.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza for over a decade in an attempt to weaken Hamas. Over 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30.

Gaza's only other border crossing is with Egypt. Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to protect its citizens from weapon smuggling.

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