Israel Halts Fuel Supplies to Gaza

Israel Halts Fuel Supplies to Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's defense minister says he's halting the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Gaza in response to incendiary balloons that have targeted southern Israel.

Avigdor Liberman said in a statement on Wednesday night that Israel would terminate fuel supplies to the territory through the Kerem Shalom because of "continued terror of flaming balloons and friction on the border."

He says the measure starts Thursday.

Israel temporarily suspended fuel shipments to Gaza in July for similar reasons.

Incendiary balloons and kites, many set off during border protests organized by Gaza's militant Hamas group, have caused fires that have devastated southern Israel's farmland and forests.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a crippling decade-long blockade since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007. Fuel shortages have left Gaza with limited electricity supply.

(KA)