The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has denounced the latest Israeli decision to enforce road closures along the border with the Gaza Strip, stating that the regime’s ongoing measures against people living in the impoverished coastal sliver amount to “crimes against humanity.”
“These measures have made more than two million Palestinians hostage to the occupying regime [of Israel], especially women and children with medical conditions and cancer patients who need treatment in hospitals in the West Bank and al-Quds,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
Barhoum also lambasted the international community’s failure to take an action aimed at ending Israeli violations against the besieged territory, emphasizing that “Gazans’ silence will not last forever.”
“It is no longer acceptable to allow such a dangerous situation to continue,” the Hamas spokesman argued
He then called for an urgent and effective Arab and Islamic action to lift the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, and demanded solid support for the Palestinian nation’s steadfastness in the face of “the Israeli war machine.”
Israeli authorities said on Wednesday night that road closures along the border with the Gaza Strip will remain in place on Thursday, for the third day in a row.
The closures came amid fears of an imminent attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, after Israeli forces arrested its West Bank leader Bassem Saadi on Monday night.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli military said it was deploying 100 reservist troops and three conscript companies to assist in keeping settlers out of restricted areas under imminent threat of anti-tank guided missile fire or sniper attacks by Islamic Jihad.
Saadi was arrested in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin along with his son-in-law and aide, Ashraf al-Jada. Another member of the Palestinian resistance movement was killed in a gun battle with Israeli troops.
In response to Saadi’s arrest, the Gaza-based group announced in a statement that it was declaring a state of “alertness” and raising its fighters’ “readiness.”
Over concern that Islamic Jihad might retaliate, the Israeli army closed off roads along the Gaza Strip shortly after Saadi’s arrest.
Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid held a situation assessment session on Tuesday morning with alternate prime minister Naftali Bennett and senior military officials.
Saadi, 62, was previously detained seven times by Israel for his role as the Islamic Jihad’s top leader in the West Bank. He has served 15 years in Israeli prisons.
Two of his sons were killed by the Israeli military during the Second Intifada.
The Israeli regime’s crippling siege of the Gaza Strip for electing the popular resistance movement Hamas has turned the enclave into an open-air prison.
The occupying regime brought the entire enclave under the land, aerial, and naval blockade in June 2007.
As a result of the siege, unemployment levels in Gaza are among the highest in the world.
As many as 1.3 million out of the 2.1 million Palestinians in Gaza (62 percent) require food assistance as well, according to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).