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Islamic Jihad says tightening of siege is ‘declaration of war’ by Israel

Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses crowd in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Islamic Jihad Movement leader Ahmad Al Mudallal addresses a crowd in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestine’s Islamic Jihad Movement has called the Israeli announcement that it is going to tighten its 12-year-old siege on Gaza a “declaration of war,” Anadolu reported on Monday. A statement from the group noted that the Palestinian resistance would be able to respond to this.

“Years of blockade did not succeed in breaking the will of the Palestinian people in Gaza or push them to give up their rights and principles,” said the movement. “The new Israeli measures will not achieve their goal, the same as what happened with the delegations which visited the region. They failed to get a Palestinian agreement in return for limited facilitations. This will not push the Palestinians to stop their support for their resistance.” Islamic Jihad added that it blames the whole world, which remains silent, for the “continuous Israeli violations against the Palestinians.”

All of the Palestinian factions have condemned the Israeli measures to tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip after Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced the closure of Kerem Shalom, the border crossing used for commercial goods. They have also reduced the limit of the fishing zone and warned of a new “unbearable” offensive on Gaza in response to Palestinian children flying kites when taking part in the Great March of Return protests.

Israel claims that the kites, some of which have Molotov cocktails attached, have set fire to thousands of acres of farmland and woodland. Little or no evidence for this claim has been seen. The closure of Kerem Shalom worsens the humanitarian and economic crisis in the besieged enclave.

Read: 136th Palestinian killed as Gaza protests against Israel enter 4th month

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