Israel closes Gaza crossing to fuel shipments in response to arson balloons
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Israel closes Gaza crossing to fuel shipments in response to arson balloons

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel froze fuel and gas shipments into Gaza though the main border crossing with Gaza over the continued arson kite and balloon attacks on southern Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman issued the order for the Kerem Shalom crossing on Wednesday after the flying firebombs sparked seven fires. Food, medicine and humanitarian aid will still be permitted to pass into Gaza. The crossing will be closed “until further notice,” Liberman said.

Kerem Shalom is the only crossing for commercial goods and the main crossing for humanitarian aid between Israel and Gaza.

The crossing was closed to all but humanitarian aid at the beginning of July, and partially opened last week after the number of incendiary kites and balloons launched toward Israel significantly decreased. That number has risen dramatically in recent days.

Palestinian protesters and rioters have been gathering at the border with Israel since mid-March as part of the so-called March of Return. The use of incendiary objects as a tactic began with the border protests.

Thousands of acres of farming land and natural forest have been consumed in the flames sparked by the incendiary devices.

Ten volunteer firefighters arrived in Israel this week from the United States to help battle the blazes.