Occupied Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened “very painful blows” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers if they don’t halt protests along the perimeter fence that have led to clashes with Israeli occupation troops.

Netanyahu said his regime is very close to waging a “different kind of activity” against Hamas. He said “if it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts - now.”

There have been near-weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza boundary since March, pressing for an end to a decade-long Israel-Egyptian blockade of the isolated territory.

The protests have intensified in recent weeks as attempts to reach a truce with the regime, including an easing of the blockade, have faltered.

The regime shot dead seven Palestinians on Friday.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that following Friday’s demonstrations Israel would halt all fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip until further notice.

Gaza, which already suffers from chronic power outages, relies on fuel shipments from Israel to power its electricity-generating plant. Israel last week reached a deal to provide Qatari-funded fuel to Gaza to increase electricity supplies.

Since protests began in March, at least 155 Palestinians have been shot dead by the occupation regime.