GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In a dangerous development June 12, Israel announced a full naval closure on the Gaza Strip until further notice, denying Palestinian fishermen access to the sea. Israel said it took the measure in response to the continued firing of incendiary balloons at Israeli settlements by protesters in the ongoing "right of return" marches.
Media outlets reported that the balloons caused about seven fires June 12 in settlements in the "Gaza envelope" — the area of Israel that wraps around the Gaza Strip. A day earlier, Israeli authorities had decided to cut the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip to 6 nautical miles. Israel had already reduced this zone June 5 to 10 nautical miles (18.5 kilometers) instead of 15 (27.8 kilometers).