Back to school in Gaza after offensive

Updated 25 November 2012
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Back to school in Gaza after offensive

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of children are returning to school in the Gaza Strip after eight days of Israeli aggression against Palestinian group Hamas.
Israel carried out about 1,500 airstrikes against Hamas-linked targets in Gaza, while fighters fired about as many rockets into Israel.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that 166 Palestinians were killed, including 33 children and minors under 18. Rockets from Gaza killed six Israelis. The group says most of more than 1,000 wounded Gazans were civilians.
Gaza’s schools reopened yesterday. Adnan Abu Hassna, spokesman for a UN aid agency, says tens of thousands of students at 245 UN-run schools spent the first day talking about their experiences during the fighting.
Israel eased restrictions on Gaza fishermen yesterday, further implementing a three-day-old truce, Palestinian officials said.
A statement from the office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Egypt had notified them that “Israel has allowed Palestinian fishermen to fish in Gaza’s waters at a distance of six miles, up from three miles.”
Israel had formally barred Gaza fishermen from heading more than three miles out into the Mediterranean Sea for about three years, its gunboats often enforcing the rule.
Murad Al-Issi, a member of a local fishermens’ group, told Reuters his colleagues had already ventured out to the six-mile limit yesterday.
“The Israeli Army naval boat which used to fire and torch Palestinian boats that sailed beyond a three-mile distance watched without doing anything to prevent them,” Issi said.
Palestinians say the Israeli restrictions had hampered the amount and variety of fish they could catch.
“This is a good step,” Issi said, adding it would be best to be permitted double the distance. Palestinian farmers tended land along the testy frontier with the Jewish state without incident, a day after Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man at a border fence.
Yesterday, a Reuters photographer saw farmers in the Khan Younis area working close to the Israeli frontier fence.
Hamas security officials were on patrol and Israeli soldiers looked on without interfering, but for a brief verbal exchange between one soldier and a Hamas guard, witnesses said.
Israel had barred Palestinians from coming within 300 meters of the border since 2009.


Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire

Updated 20 June 2018
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Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire

JERUSALEM: Israeli jets struck 25 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday after militants launched rockets and mortar shells at Israeli territory, the military said.
Two Hamas security men were lightly hurt in one air strike in the southern Gaza Strip, residents said. No casualties were reported in Israel after one of the most intense recent barrages of militant rocket launches and Israeli air strikes.
Air raid sirens and Israeli phone warning applications sounded throughout the pre-dawn hours.
The military counted 30 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli territory and said its Iron Dome anti-missile shield intercepted seven rockets.
Since its last war with Gaza’s dominant Hamas in 2014, Israel has stepped up efforts to prevent cross-border attacks, improving rocket interceptors and investing in technologies for detecting and destroying guerrilla tunnels.
In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and forests, others have carried small explosive devices in a new tactic that has caused extensive damage.
At least 127 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the men sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon.
Israel’s deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn international condemnation.
Palestinians say the protests are an outpouring of rage by people demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from following the founding of Israel 70 years ago.
Israel says the demonstrations are organized by the Islamist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel’s right to exist. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.
Around two million people live in Gaza, most of them the stateless descendants of refugees from what is now Israel. The territory has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.
Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the strip, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there over the past decade.