Newspapers Review: Israel's reinforced blockade on Gaza highlight of dailies

A program on al Quds TV

A second humanitarian fleet left the Gaza Strip today with the aim of ending 11 years of Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave, announced a Palestinian organization.

"The decision of the Israeli government to close the only terminal leading to the Gaza Strip is a war crime against our people who are already dispossessed, and this will deepen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza", stated Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem.

Only a day earlier, Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi, who has been working behind the scenes to ease tensions in Gaza, suggested in an interview that Palestinians would stop protests and sending incendiary kites if Israel were to ease the siege and allow 5,000 Palestinians from Gaza to obtain work permits for Israel. Israel says it has lost 7,000 acres of forests and farmland to the kite- or balloon-set fires.

Gazans began launching the kites as part of protests along the border calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

"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".

Hamas decried Monday's measures as "a new Israeli crime against humanity".

Among the passengers were four people said to have been wounded by Israeli soldiers during recent riots along the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip.

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The Israeli government also chose to reduce the area allowed for fishing in the sea of Gaza from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles, according to the Israeli media.

Netanyahu vowed to use a "heavy hand" against Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, and said more steps would be taken, without elaborating. "I will not go into details", he added.

"Hamas urges the global community to immediately intervene", said Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist group by Israel and the West.

The Israeli non-governmental organisation Gisha, which promotes freedom of movement for Palestinians, also condemned the Israeli decision.

The United Nations on Tuesday criticized Israel's closure of its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip, warning that the measure could have negative consequences.

On May 29, another vessel from the Gaza Strip, called Al-Hurriyah (Liberty), attempted to run the blockade.

A boat carrying members of Hamas marine police escort a boat full of Palestinians injured during clashes along the Gaza security fence as it tries to break through Israel's naval blockade from the Gaza City harbor on July 10, 2018.

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