The Israeli defense minister ordered the closure of all Gaza crossings on Tuesday, following a homemade shell landing in the nearby Israeli town of Sderot.
The ruling party Hamas in Gaza downplayed the decision, calling it ‘meaningless’ on the basis that all the crossings were already effectively closed. Since 19th June, Israel has only allowed limited shipments of goods, commodities and fuel into the coastal region.
On June 19th Egyptian officials brokered a ceasfire between Israel and Hamas, stipulating that Israel should gradually life the blockad whilst the Gaza-based resistance factions, involving Hamas, stop firing shells into Israel.
Abu Yousef, a local leader of the al Aqsa Martyrs brigade, an offshoot of the Fatah party, called for the ceasfire deal to be reconsidered and for the Palestinians to stay united in the face of ‘Israeli aggression’.
The Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents continue to desperately lack essential supplies such as cooking gas, benzene, and raw materials, despite the agreement. Israel has allowed about 80 trucks of various goods through into Gaza since June 19th, less than quarter of the Gaza’s actual need
Israel enforced the debilitating closure on the coastal territory following Hamas’s seizure of the region in June 2007, amidst factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah.