Fuel shipments to Gaza halted due to incendiary balloons: Palestinians’ new medium of protest
Israel is set to stop all shipments of fuel and gas to the Gaza Strip in response to the launching of incendiary balloons by militants in the region that has resulted in fields getting torched in Israeli territory.
As per statements from the Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman’s office, halts had been ordered on fuel supplies into the strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing until any further updates are received. The statement further clarified that the decision had been taken as a step to defend against the continuous terror threats in the region posed by the incendiary balloons.
Four months of weekly protests at the border that commenced on March 30 have slowed down but the organisers have pledged to continue their protest until Israel relieves the area of all the economic sanctions that currently exist in the enclave. At least 155 Palestinians have been killed in the protests so far, while an Israel soldier also was shot by a sniper in Gaza.
Palestinians feel that using these balloons are a fair way of retaliating against the violent atrocities Israel has committed in the region and causing the blockade in Gaza.
The Jewish state has suffered major losses in terms of destruction of major tracts of farmland and forest area due to fires set by kites and helium balloons containing incendiary material coming over from Gaza. Israel had already responded by stopping the flow of most non-essential commercial goods to Gaza. However, with even the emergency fuel stocks getting depleted, the Kerem Shalom crossing had to be partially re-opened to deliver some supplies to the Gaza region.
Yet, fuel shortages and power cuts stand as a major obstacle to hospitals and water sanitation systems in the region, which continue to deteriorate as the months go by.
*Rayan Bhattacharya is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti