Israel Cuts Off Gas Supply to Gaza

Israeli firefighters extinguish flames in a wheat field caused from kites flown by Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border

Hamas has denounced Israel's latest punitive measure.

"The Israeli occupation's closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing and depriving Gaza from the most simple necessities of life is a crime against humanity that will be added to its list of crimes at the expense of the Palestinian people including those living in the Strip", he said in a statement.

Later, Mr Lieberman announced that Kerem Shalom would be closed for fuel deliveries and the distance which Gaza's fishermen would be allowed from the coast reduced from six nautical miles (12 km) to three.

Meanwhile, Egyptian sources confirmed on Saturday that Cairo was working to prevent a further escalation and towards mediating a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian terror groups, the Walla news site reported. Israel has stepped up it strikes since then to signal its new threshold for engagement after months of largely refraining to act.

The primary target of the IAF strikes Saturday was the Hamas battalion headquarters in Beit Lahia, in the north of the Strip, the army said.

But she said the law could also be applied to right-wing groups, such as those that advocate violence against Israeli soldiers over any evacuation of Jewish settlements in territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

During the night, Palestinians fired more than 30 projectiles into Israel and kept up the attacks on Saturday, firing a further 60 rockets and mortar shells.

"The Israeli army is prepared and ready for any mission we give it", Lieberman said during a visit to the border area Tuesday.

"We are in a military campaign in which there have been exchanges of blows".

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"We will set the rules of the game and no one else", the defense minister said.

Critics of the law, which passed with 43 votes in favor and 24 against in the 120-seat Knesset, said it was a blow to core democratic values like free speech and part of the Israeli government's effort to delegitimize rights groups and NGOs.

The devices have sparked hundreds fires in southern Israel, burning more than 2,830 hectares (7,000 acres) of forest and farmland and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, officials say. Israel's Nature and Parks Authority said it found the common kestrel hanging in a tree with its legs tied to a wire that had flammable material.

The INPA said the incident "marks the first time an animal has been used to ignite fires", adding that they're considering filing a complaint under global treaties that prohibit the use of animals for terrorism.

Egypt has also maintained the blockade with Israel over the strip, in an attempt to weaken Hamas.

Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations.

The legislation has been dubbed the "Breaking the Silence" law, a reference to the Israeli group of that name which collects and publishes testimony from Israeli veterans about the military's treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and during conflicts with militants in Gaza.

Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the weekly protests to distract from governance problems and provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks.

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