According to reports, no fuel will enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing until Sunday as Israel responds to "continued terror attempts" by Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group, according to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the BBC reported Tuesday.
During the last few months, Israel has suffered Hamas attacks by kites, balloons and other objects that act as flying incendiary bombs.
Miko Peled, the author of "The General's Son — A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine," and Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear that Israel's tightening of its blockade on the Gaza Strip is just another example of Israel "strangling" Palestinians.
"This is no surprise," Gold told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker about the blockade.
"[Palestinians] receive four hours of electricity a day; sewage plants can't run. The UN has said that Gaza is becoming unlivable. It has been unlivable for a long time. Israel committing some new, egregious attack to strangle [Palestinians] is no surprise," she noted.
In May, the Israeli Defense Forces announced that the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only checkpoint used to transfer goods across the Israel-Gaza border, would be shut down until the damage caused by Palestinian protesters was reimbursed. However, the deliveries of energy to the enclave had continued — until Tuesday.
The Kerem Shalom crossing has been attacked by Palestinian protesters twice since the start of mass anti-Israeli protests on March 30. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of others injured as Israeli forces suppressed the demonstrations.
On Monday, The UN and Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, referred to Israel's latest move to strengthen the blockade against Gaza an act of "collective punishment."
"There is no other way of describing this measure other than collective punishment. Pretending to know what Gaza needs and trying to 'manage the situation' harkens back to earlier iterations of the closure, is morally depraved and constitutes a willful act of hubris in a volatile situation," a Gisha spokesperson recently said, Al-Jazeera reported Tuesday.
This weekend, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also struck Hamas facilities, including a battalion headquarters in Beit Lahia and a training camp in a building in the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.
"In less than two weeks, Israel has destroyed [multiple villages]," Peled told Sputnik.
"This is ethnic cleansing. It's only a matter of time before the world realizes that this is the case," Peled added.
According to Peled, the Israeli lobby in the US are "very effective" at convincing individuals and groups in the US to support the policies of the Israeli government.
"As soon as someone looks like they are on the path to becoming a serious politician, they begin their campaign. They are very effective and have deep pockets. There is a lesson here for people who do care for justice to act more swiftly to do more in getting to politicians and changing this course, because it's very concerning and problematic," Peled told Sputnik.
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