Hamas vows to make southern Israel ‘a hell’ in response to border closure

Hamas condemned Israel’s closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, vowing to step up arson attacks and make southern Israel into “a hell.”

By: World Israel News Staff

Hamas said it will increase the number of bomb-laden kites and balloons launched from Gaza into Israel in response to Israel’s closure of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the Hamas-affiliated Shehab new agency reported.

“We will turn the nights of the Israeli communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip into hell,” they threatened.

A group affiliated with Hamas that is responsible for launching the incendiary kites and balloons said in a statement, “We will escalate the conflict and intensify the launch of balloons at night in response to the decision of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to close the crossings and tighten the siege.

“The decision by the Israeli government to tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip to pressure the rebel groups to prevent the launch of balloons is proof of its failure to manage the conflict with the rebellious youths who rose peacefully to lift the siege on Gaza.”

Tens of thousands of acres of crops and forests have been burned over the past few months since the kite and balloon attacks began.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Tuesday condemned the Israeli decision, saying the move to “further tighten the siege and prevent the entry of goods into the already crippled coastal enclave is a new crime against humanity added to the record of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.”

He further slammed the “regional and international silence” which he claimed encouraged Israel to “continue its criminal actions in clear violation of human rights and international law.”

Hamas called on the international community to “act immediately to prevent this crime and its grave consequences, end the siege of Gaza and stop the crimes of the Occupation and its violations against the civilian population of the Strip and bear all the consequences of these arbitrary policies.”

The IDF noted that the state of Israel “aspires and acts to improve the living conditions of civilians in the Gaza Strip.” However, the IDF has decided to take these measures to counter Hamas’ exploitation of Gazan residents and its launching of arson terrorism towards the Israeli communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

“The current situation doesn’t allow the residents of southern Israel to safely maintain their daily routine. Should these severe conditions continue, IDF measures will persist and intensify,” the IDF stated.

A ‘new declaration of war’

The Islamic Jihad terror group said the Israeli step was a “new declaration of war” and threatened to respond.

“Once again, the government of Zionist terror announces a war on the Palestinian people by intensifying its oppressive siege that has multiplied the suffering of the Palestinian people for more than 11 years,” it said in a statement.

“We are coordinating with the factions and forces to evaluate all developments, including the occupation’s most recent measures, which we are dealing with as a new declaration of war on the Palestinian people,” the Islamic terror group added.

Israeli actions

Israel announced Monday that it was shutting down the crossing, the only remaining passage into Gaza, in response to incessant fire terrorism that has been emanating from Gaza for the past three and a half months.

After months of ongoing and various terror attacks from Hamas, today the IDF took significant measures to ensure the safety of Israeli civilians,” the IDF stated.

The crossing will now only be open to humanitarian aid, including food and medicine. Exports and marketing of goods will no longer take place at the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

The IDF stated it took the drastic action in response to “the ongoing arson and additional terror attacks at the hands of the terror organization, Hamas. This includes infiltration into Israel from the Gaza Strip, terror tunnels discovered leading into Israel from the Gaza Strip, including two near the Kerem Shalom Crossing, and violent riots along the security border.”