Monday, 13 January 2014

Three airstrikes hit Gaza, rockets fired into Israel mark war criminal Sharon's burial


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli media reported that two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Monday during the funeral of former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon near the border.

A Ynet report said that there were no injuries or damage as a result of the rockets, which landed in an open area near the border fence.

The report added that Israeli forces were not "planning to respond."

The rockets came towards the end of Sharon's funeral, which took place at his ranch near Sderot in southern Israel. more

Closure of tunnels deprives Gaza of $230 million per month, says government


GAZA CITY (IPS) - The border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip used to buzz with activity until a few months back as traders brought in an array of Egyptian goods — from food supplies to raw material — through hundreds of tunnels. But these underground structures between Rafah in Gaza and Sinai in Egypt, have fallen silent.

Things came to a grinding halt after the Egyptian army came to power in July last year. Calling them a security threat, it launched a systematic military campaign against the tunnels, destroying them, along with the houses under which they were built on its side of the border.

For the 1.7 million people in Gaza, the closure of the tunnels has choked a lifeline. Thousands of tunnel operators, traders and workers have been hard hit.

“Never before have we faced this kind of pressure from the Egyptian army and, it seems, things are going to get worse,” said Abu Nabil, a Gaza resident who gave only his nickname for security reasons.

He had operated a tunnel on the Palestinian side since 2007. Nabil said more than 90 percent of the passages, most of which are privately operated, have been destroyed by the Egyptian military, completely paralyzing trade through the tunnels. more

Egypt destroys 10 Gaza smuggling tunnels


CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Egyptian security forces demolished 10 smuggling tunnels under the shared border with Gaza on Sunday, Egyptian security officials said.

The tunnels were located in the city of Rafah.

Egypt's army, which ousted the Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi in a July coup, has destroyed dozens of tunnels used by Hamas to bring crucial supplies into the blockaded Strip.

The tunnels have been a lifeline for the flow of food, clothing, building materials and fuel into the impoverished territory, which Israel has blockaded since 2006. more