|Photo by: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters|
Violence erupts on Gaza border
By YAAKOV KATZ AND HERB KEINON
Palestinian snipers open fire at farmers near Gaza fence, open fire at firefighters extinguishing blaze.
IDF troops exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip on Thursday
A Palestinian sniper in southern Gaza fired at a tractor traveling
on a road in Kibbutz Nir Oz close to the border fence. The driver of the tractor
was not injured, but the sniper’s fire shattered the vehicle’s
IDF soldiers arrived at the scene, evacuating the man to
safety. according to the IDF Spokesman’s Office, Palestinians operating from
within a school then detonated a bomb near the soldiers close to the border
fence, but failed to wound any of them. The terrorists also fired a mortar shell
at the force, who returned fire but failed to confirm a hit.
separate incident that occurred simultaneously, a fire broke out adjacent to the
security fence in southern Gaza.
While Israeli civilian firefighters were
extinguishing the blaze, terrorists opened fire at soldiers present at the
The soldiers returned tank fire, confirming a hit. Two
Palestinians were moderately wounded, according to Palestinian Ma’an news
Earlier Thursday, a sniper in the southern Gaza Strip fired at a
farmer working in a field near Kibbutz Nir Oz. The man was not hurt, having
hidden himself behind a tractor until IDF soldiers arrived and evacuated him to
safety. IDF soldiers returned fire. The tractor’s windshield was shattered by
the sniper’s shots. A mortar shell fired from Gaza landed in the Eshkol Regional
Council area, but caused no injuries.
Meanwhile, 50 international aid
groups and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal on Thursday calling on
Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“For over five years in
Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under a blockade in violation of
international law. More than half of these people are children. We the
undersigned say with one voice: ‘End the blockade now,’” the petition
Among the signatories were Amnesty International, Save the
Children, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, and the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights.
Israel has relaxed restrictions over the
past two years, but insists on checking all goods entering the territory to
prevent arms or weapons-making equipment from reaching Hamas.
Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor asked why the aid groups had not referred to the
reason for the blockade, or any solution to the problem of rocket fire on Israel
from Gaza that precipitated the blockade.
If this is not mentioned in the
statement, he said, “then the call is meaningless.” Palmor said any “new ideas
to deal with the cause of the problem would be welcomed if they were put forward