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Israeli occupation army closes Beit Hanoun crossing, shrinks fishing zone in Gaza

The Israeli occupation army on Monday announced its decision to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip and reduce the permissible fishing areas in the Gaza Sea as punitive measures for rocket counterattacks on Israeli areas.

Kamil Abu Rukun, coordinator of the Israeli government activities in the occupied territories, said the Erez crossing would be closed until a further announcement, according to Israeli news reports.

He added that the fishing areas off the coast of Gaza would also be decreased to “six nautical miles,” and all Gazan businessmen would be denied entry to Israel.

The Israeli steps came following Palestinian rocket counterattacks from Gaza on Israeli areas.

Israeli air raids on Gaza continued intensely throughout the afternoon and evening of Monday, targeting civilian and resistance structures and areas. The Israeli occupation army claimed its attacks on Gaza were in response to persistent rocket fire by the Palestinian resistance.

However, the military escalation started after Israeli forces brutally killed a Palestinian citizen, desecrated his body and injured others inside a Gaza border area on Sunday.

An Israeli overnight air raid on Damascus on Sunday night also claimed the lives of two Palestinians affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Movement.

Such Israeli crimes provoked the Palestinian resistance to launch counterattacks on Israeli settlements and military targets.