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Israel keeps the border with Gaza closed out of concern for reprisal.

Israel continued to close the borders into Gaza on Thursday, severely limiting the flow of people, goods, and aid, in response to what the army claimed were possible reprisals for its arrest of a senior Palestinian militant.


During a West Bank raid in the city of Jenin on Monday, Israel detained Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organisation. A 17-year-old Islamic Jihad member was also killed in the raid. Since then, it has shut off every crossing into Gaza as well as parts of the nearby roadways, citing concerns about reprisals.


After video surfaced in Israeli media that appeared to reveal al-Saadi may have been injured during his detention, the terrorist group issued a full alert among its members, signalling a threat of impending reprisal.


In a video broadcast by the Israeli military, Nimrod Aloni, commanding officer of the Gaza division, stated, ‘We identify the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s intentions to carry out terrorist attacks.’


According to him, the shutdown ‘will go as long as required.’


The strike, which reached its third day on Thursday, has made it impossible for Palestinian labourers to enter Israel. According to the World Health Organization, it has an impact on 50 individuals a day who require medical attention outside of Gaza.


However, Israeli media reported on Thursday that a military court had extended al-Saadi’s detention by eight days. Israeli authorities have not yet commented on the circumstances surrounding al- Saadi’s arrest.


Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid declared in a tweet that his country ‘would respond aggressively against any organisation that threatens the security of our citizens’ after receiving a security briefing on Thursday.


Israel has maintained a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over control of the territory in 2007, alleging security reasons.


Officials warned on Thursday that if the crossings are not opened again, Gaza’s sole power plant will have to shut down within 48 hours. The recent closures have cut off access for fuel trucks that supply it.


Gaza inhabitants currently only have 10 hours of energy each day due to cuts, so if the plant were to stop producing electricity, the enclave would be left with only a daily flow of 120 megawatts from Israel as its only external source of power.


The daily lives of nearly two million people and essential services would be severely impacted, according to Mohammad Thabit of Gaza’s power distribution firm.


Israeli citizens have also voiced complaints over travel limitations.


After al-Saadi’s detention Egyptian mediators worked to ease hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab stated, ‘We are in communication with Egyptian officials but there has not yet been a satisfying outcome, thus the full alert level remains.’


Hamas’s spokesman, Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua, criticised Israel’s closures and stated that his organisation had also been in contact with mediators. Hamas is the militant organisation in charge of Gaza.


He declared, ‘We will not tolerate the policy of collective punishment and the continued closure of crossings.’


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