Israel has banned all imports going into Gaza except for food and medical supplies, an unnamed Palestinian official told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. “All private sector companies have been notified of the Israeli decision to stop the entry of all commodities and goods, except food and medicine,” the official said.
Starting on August 6th, Israel has bombed Gaza almost every day in response to incendiary balloons and less frequent rocket fire that came from the besieged enclave. Israel has already cut fuel imports into Gaza, leaving its two million residents with even less electricity than usual.
The power cuts are straining Gaza’s already fragile medical sector. Before the ban on fuel imports, Gaza was allotted eight hours of electricity per day, and now it is down to only three or four hours. Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned these new blackouts will increase the burden on Gaza’s health sector.
Israel has also banned fishing off of Gaza’s coast in response to the recent incendiary balloons. Gaza’s fishing zone has been severely reduced by Israel over the years. The outright ban cuts off a vital supply of food and leaves Gaza’s fisherman with no way to earn an income.
On Saturday, Israel’s attack on Gaza continued. Israeli tanks shelled targets in the besieged enclave, and Israel’s Navy attacked fishing boats at a pier in north Gaza. Israel paints all targets they hit as Hamas targets, but local Palestinian media has reported strikes on residential areas that are not Hamas-affiliated, causing injuries to civilians.
The clampdown on Gaza will likely continue, as Israeli media is reporting that more incendiary balloons were launched on Sunday. Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007. These new restrictions, coupled with a bombing campaign, will make an already dire humanitarian situation even worse.