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  • Palestinians inspect a destroyed Hamas site after it was targeted by an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

    Palestinians inspect a destroyed Hamas site after it was targeted by an Israeli air strike in Gaza. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 June 2019

Israel has banned fuel shipments to Gaza ahead of the upcoming U.S.-sponsored Bahrain Summit, which is where Donald Trump will present his "deal of the century".

Israel has blocked all fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip Tuesday after the government in Tel Aviv accused Palestinian groups of setting off incendiary balloons.

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According to a statement from the Palestinian civil affairs division of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, "the release of arson balloons from the Gaza Strip toward the State of Israel" caused many fires along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said all fuel transfers were halted at the Karem Shalom Crossing and would remain so “until further notice”.

Fuel deliveries were agreed in late 2018 as part of a truce agreement between Israel and the impoverished enclave’s Hamas rulers.

They have improved electricity supply in the territory, where residents currently receive around 12 hours of power a day, according to the UN.

Before the deal, the daily power supply was regularly as low as six hours.

Prior to the halting of fuel shipments, the Israeli Armed Forces imposed a naval blockade along the Gaza coast for one week.

During regular demonstrations last year, the balloons started hundreds of fires, though they have been curbed in recent months.

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