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July 21, 2018

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UN criticizes Israeli closure of Gaza border crossing

Updated Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 8:02 a.m.

JERUSALEM (AP) — The United Nations has criticized Israel's closure of its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip.

U.N. Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov issued a statement on Tuesday urging Israel to reverse its decision, saying he was "concerned about the consequences" of the closure.

He also urged Gaza's militant Hamas rulers to "do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations."

Israel said it was closing the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday to everything except essential humanitarian supplies in response to the continued launches of incendiary kites and balloons that have been released from Gaza into Israel over the last few months.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza for over a decade in an attempt to weaken Hamas. The blockade has caused widespread economic hardship.