Israel Considers Cutting Off Supplies To Gaza Strip As Tensions Flare With Hamas
Israel may temporarily halt the flow of goods into the Gaza Strip by closing the Kerem Shalom crossing, amid the renewed launching of incendiary devices from the Palestinian enclave. There have been numerous incidents over the past two weeks of balloons tethered to flammable material or explosives flown into southern Israel, to which the military responded by striking Hamas targets. This prompted the terror group’s chief, Ismael Haniyeh, to warn the Israeli government against any military “adventure” ahead of the upcoming national elections. The frequency of violent demonstrations along the Gaza border also is increasing, with near-daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops. Concurrently, the weekly “March of Return” protests—now in their twelfth month—continue to draw thousands of Gazans to the security fence every Friday. A recent Israeli army intelligence assessment cautioned that Hamas is liable to spark a war in the near future to coax countries into sending it financial aid. According to reports, Egyptian intermediaries are attempting to calm the situation, although a months-long diplomatic effort to forge a concrete long-term cease-fire agreement failed to bear fruit.