Israel closes roads near Gaza Strip fearing sudden escalation

Roads are closed to reinforce lockdown in Gaza, 28 August 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Roads are closed in Gaza, 28 August 2020 

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has ordered a number of sites and roads near the Gaza Strip to be closed, fearing a sudden escalation of tension and attacks from the besieged enclave, local media reported on Tuesday.

“The entrances to the Black Arrow Monument, Givat HaPa’amon, Giv’at Nizmit, the Garden of the Fallen, and the Lone Rider Hill are all blocked,” said the IDF.

According to Ynet News, the decision was made after a “situational assessment” but, at this stage, no special guidelines have been issued for Israeli settlers living near the nominal border fence with Gaza. However, travel restrictions have been put in place.

The reason for these measures, explained the news website, is the Israeli government’s decision not to abide by the demands of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, during indirect, Egyptian-brokered, talks.

READ: Israel FM says ‘impossible’ to reach an agreement with PA president

Israel carried out a 10-day military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in May that left more than 260 people dead, including 67 children and 40 women. Hundreds more were wounded, and homes and basic infrastructure facilities were destroyed.

When the offensive ended, the Palestinians in Gaza suspended their legitimate resistance activities after being advised by the Egyptian, Qatari, and UN brokers that Israel was going to ease its 15-year siege and allow a humanitarian grant from Doha into the territory. However, Israel did not fulfil its promise, although, under pressure from the Palestinian resistance, it eased the siege partially and allowed some of the Qatari financial support into Gaza.

(Source / 20.10.2021)

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