Israel has closed border crossings into the Gaza Strip as the regime steps up its aerial assaults against the besieged coastal enclave.
The Israeli military said in a statement that “due to the security events and in accordance with security assessments” Kerem Shalom crossing – the main passage point for goods entering the Gaza Strip, and the Erez pedestrian crossing – would be shut as of Thursday until further notice.
Shutting the two border crossings effectively cuts off Gaza from the rest of the world by land, save for its small Egyptian border, which is generally closed. The territory is also under a naval blockade by the Israeli navy.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army said earlier in the day that it had targeted three facilities belonging to Palestinian resistance movement in the southern Gaza Strip before dawn.
The assault, it claimed, was a response to rockets fired from Gaza towards the southern parts of the occupied territories.
The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million, has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
The development comes amid simmering tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories after US President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that the US was recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and tasked the State Department with making preparations for the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.
Trump’s move upended decades of American diplomacy, causing an overwhelming global diplomatic backlash and sparking protests by Palestinians and their clashes with Israeli forces.
The Thursday assaults came as Gazans are marking 30 years since the founding of the Hamas resistance movement, which had been governing the territory since 2009.
The movement has defended the impoverished enclave against three deadly Israeli wars since then.
Over the past week, Gaza has repeatedly come under similar Israeli air raids.
On Tuesday, two people were killed when an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle carried out an attack in the besieged Gaza Strip.