04:36 GMT27 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Israel has introduced a blockade in the waters of the Gaza Strip for Palestinian fishermen in the wake of the recent arson balloon launches from the Palestinian enclave into the Israeli territory, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman, Avichay Adraee, has said.

    "In the light of the continued fires and arson balloons from the Gaza Strip toward Israel tonight, we have decided to introduce a maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip until further notice," Adraee wrote on Twitter late on Wednesday.

    Late in May, the IDF said it expanded the Gaza fishing zone back to 15 nautical miles from the restriction of 10 nautical miles imposed in the wake of the recent escalation of tensions in the area. Israel has explained that its move was aimed at preventing the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the enclave. However, Israeli media reported on Wednesday, about at least six fires caused by incendiary balloons, launched by Palestinians, in the south of Israel. Moreover, a bomb attached to a balloon reportedly exploded over an Israeli town.

    The situation on the Gaza-Israeli border escalated in May when the sides engaged in deadly clashes. Though the tensions have been settled, the long-term conflict between Israeli and Palestinians remains unresolved for decades.

    arson balloons, balloon, fishing, Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel
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