Thursday, 25 June 2015

Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza again


The Israeli air force attacked a target in the northern Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday after another missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area near the town of Ashkelon, in the western Negev. Ramadan celebrants from the Gaza Strip will be barred from travelling to Jerusalem for prayer in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, this week, following the rocket fire.

The Israeli strike landed in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses told Ma'an, with the Israeli army stating that the strike had targeted "the launcher from which the rocket was fired at Israel earlier."

The strike came hours after the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip fell on open ground in the vicinity of Yad Mordechai, a kibbutz near the Israel-Gaza border.

No injuries were reported in either the rocket launch or the Israeli strike.

Wednesday's exchange was the fifth in just under a month, with the most recent rocket fired from Gaza landing in Israel on June 6 answered within hours by an Israeli air strike into the coastal strip.

A rocket was fired on June 11 but it fell short and landed on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border.

No damage or casualties have been caused by the recent rockets fired from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes have left structural damage only.

The exchanges come as Israel and Hamas have allegedly been holding indirect talks for cementing a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip, Hamas sources said last week. more

Rebuilding of Gaza's destroyed homes set to begin


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- The rebuilding of thousands of homes destroyed by Israel in last summer's Gaza war is to begin in the coming days, almost a year after the conflict began, the Palestinian housing minister said Wednesday.

The July-August war in the besieged Gaza Strip destroyed or partially damaged tens of thousands of homes, leaving 100,000 Gazans homeless.

"Some 90,000 partially-damaged homes have already been repaired in coordination with the United Nations," Mufid Hasayneh told journalists in Gaza City.

"In the coming days, the operation of reconstructing those totally destroyed will begin," he said.

Some 18,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, according to UN figures, and reconstruction of the war-wracked coastal territory has been slow.

Israel's ongoing blockade of Gaza, now in its ninth year, has been blamed, as well as the lack of international donor support to the territory, which is ruled by Hamas.

Hasayneh said that Israel had allowed only 128,000 tonnes of cement into the Strip since the war ended.

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