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Israel to cut Gaza fuel supply in response to wave of arson attacks

The move comes after restricting the Gaza fishing zone fails to deter incendiary balloon attacks from the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

Palestinian youths in the Gaza Strip prepare incendiary balloons with which to attack Israel, May 31, 2019. Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90.
Palestinian youths in the Gaza Strip prepare incendiary balloons with which to attack Israel, May 31, 2019. Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90.

Israel announced on Tuesday that it will cut the supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip in response to a wave of arson attacks from the Hamas enclave.

At least 13 fires were started by incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip on Monday.

“In the wake of the uptick of incendiary balloons from Gaza into Israel and arsons in the Gaza border area, it has been decided to stop transfers of fuel to the Gaza power station via the Kerem Shalom crossing beginning this morning,” said Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in a statement released on Tuesday morning.

The statement came after local fire services in southern Israel fought at least 13 brush fires on Monday that were started by balloons loaded with flammables and launched into Israeli communities and territories from the Gaza Strip.

Tensions with Gaza have been rising since May, when a brief but intense military exchange ultimately resulted in a ceasefire between Israel and terrorist organizations in the coastal territory.

Not long after the deal was made, however, attacks from Gaza resumed, including the launching of two rockets into Israel earlier this month.

Previously, Israel had responded to the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza by restricting the Gaza fishing zone.

Attempts to deter attacks from Gaza by cutting fuel supplies to Gaza’s only electric plant have been met with international criticism for negatively impacting the Gazan humanitarian situation.

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