Israel passes law to ban groups critical of state, military from schools

Jul 18, 2018, 00:28
Israel passes law to ban groups critical of state, military from schools

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager and a second protester died of his wounds on Saturday, Gaza health officials said.

Hamas called Israel's import restrictions on Gaza a "crime against humanity".

The increased attacks on southern Israel by Hamas come at a time when the Palestinians lack an effective leadership to make peace with Israel.

With Israel focused on efforts to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military foothold in neighboring Syria, it has been wary of escalating violence in Gaza.

Israeli aircraft struck militant targets in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians launched dozens of mortar bombs and rockets from the enclave into Israel on Saturday, the Israeli military said. Israeli defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel was tightening its naval blockade to limit Palestinians from sailing beyond three nautical miles off Gaza's coast.

While the groups acknowledged that the damage incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza have caused Israeli fields and farmland was "severe", they said the Israeli response "cannot be to deliberately harm innocent civilians".

Bennett tweeted on Saturday night: "The formula according to which after two months of fires and hundreds of rockets on residents of the Gaza vicinity, Hamas dictates to us a ceasefire is a serious mistake".

The steps come as the United Nations and Egypt push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and as Israel prepares to go to war - if necessary - to prevent Hamas and the Islamic Jihad from launching rockets and incendiary devices into southern Israel.

The move was in response to a violation of the ceasefire by the Palestinian terror groups operating in Gaza when they fired a rocket toward southern Israel.

Hamas, which dominates Gaza, warned Israel of "dangerous consequences".

"This is what we did yesterday", Netanyahu said.

The Israeli army said air strikes carried out in the morning hit "complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility".

On Sunday, Israel said it discovered a falcon to which Gaza militants tied an incendiary device meant to set fires.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, on July 15, 2018.

Hamas already has deployed several drones to infiltrate Israel and exploited the incidents as propaganda victories, IPT said.

Since the protests and clashes broke out along the border on March 30, at least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

Gaza's only other functioning border crossing, Rafah, is with Egypt. Organisers say the demonstrations aim to press demands for a right to lands lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its foundation and for the blockade to ease.

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