Scores of extremist Israeli settlers have blocked a road leading to the Gaza Strip’s main commercial crossing, in an attempt to prevent goods from entering the besieged Palestinian enclave.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, dozens of Israeli settlers prevented truckloads of goods from entering Gaza through Kerem Shalom on Monday.
Israeli settlers held placards and chanted anti-Palestinian slogans. They also linked the road blockade to fires from incendiary kites and helium balloons that have been flown by Palestinians since the “Great March of Return” protests began on March 30.
The Kerem Shalom crossing between the southern Gaza Strip and the occupied territories is Gaza’s main entry point for goods and trade.
The regime has routinely closed the crossing, banning the entry of humanitarian supplies and other goods into Gaza.
Back in July, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing. Also in August, Israel tightened its years-long blockade of the coastal Strip by closing a pedestrian crossing.
The coastal strip has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.
The Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, says Israel’s blockade amounts to a crime against humanity, and has called on the international community for immediate intervention.
Egypt, one of the only two Arab countries that have open relations with Israel, has blockaded the rest of the strip, including by shutting the Rafah border crossing.
More than 200 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded by Israeli troops in the protests since late March, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry.
Palestinian protesters demand their right to return to their homeland.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who had gathered near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from the occupied territories in protest against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds. Over 60 Palestinians were shot dead and more than 2,700 wounded by Israeli snipers who had been positioned along the fence.
Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian house
Separately on Monday, Israeli bulldozers escorted by regime forces demolished a Palestinian house that was still under construction in Anata town northeast of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Sources said that the demolished house belonged to a local resident, identified as Saleh Muhammad Fuheidat.
The demolition came without any previous notices, leaving a 7-member family homeless.
Also in early September, Israeli authorities had demolished the family’s two houses in the same area.
In recent years, Israel has expanded the authority of its military to demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied territories.
The regime orders the demolition of Palestinian homes as a punitive measure in response to alleged attacks by Palestinians against Israeli settlers.
Tel Aviv has been occupying the West Bank, including East al-Quds, since occupying the Palestinian territory in 1967. Ever since, it has been increasing settlement construction, in a move condemned by the United Nations, and considered illegal under international law.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.