After launching air strikes in the strip, Israel shuts Gaza fishing zone

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Israel has closed the Gaza Strip’s offshore fishing zone after the most intense show of aggression in recent months.

Israeli air strikes targeted sites allegedly belonging to Gaza’s Hamas rulers, after which Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired two rockets into southern Israel. However, the military said Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted the two rockets.

Police said rocket fallout caused damage to a house in the town of Sderot, and paramedics treated a 58-year-old man for minor wounds.

Meanwhile, aerial bombing from Israel has caused considerable damage so far, including in the Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

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Damage in the Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Gunfire at protesters

The Israeli army claimed the strikes were a response to explosive balloons launched by a Hamas-affiliated group over the border. It comes as Hamas, like other Palestinian factions, denounced the United Arab Emirates for agreeing to formal ties with Israel.

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The army claims strikes are also punishment for alleged attempts by Palestinian protesters to throw explosives at the Israel-Gaza perimeter fence. Dozens of Palestinians took part in protests along the perimeter fence, and the Gaza health ministry said Israeli gunfire at protesters wounded two Palestinians.

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Hamas supporters hold pictures showing Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during a protest against the United Arab Emirates’ deal with Israel (Adel Hana/AP)

Limited food sources

Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz ordered the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza closed until further notice. This is reportedly in response to the rocket fire, which was largely intercepted and caused no serious injuries.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007. With strict restrictions on what can be brought into the strip, fishing provides a precious source of food and livelihood for Gaza residents.

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