'Gaza death toll at 27 after Palestinian boy dies'

7-year-old reportedly succumbs to his wounds after IAF strike on eastern Gaza City; Netivot municipal head: Only half of students show up for class despite cease-fire and no rocket attacks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 14, 2012 11:38
2 minute read.
Palestinians pass rubble from IAF strike, Gaza

Palestinians walk past rubble from IAF air strike, Gaza_370. (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

 
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A seven-year-old Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip has died from wounds sustained during an IDF strike on terrorist operations in the coastal territory this past weekend, Gaza news portal Al Resalah reported, raising the death toll of last weekend's spasm of violence between Gaza and Israel to 27.

Birka Salama al-Maghrabi was injured in an Israeli air strike in an eastern part of Gaza City, the largest city in the Palestinian territories.

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While it appeared on Wednesday that both Israel and terrorist groups in Gaza were respecting an informal, Egyptian-brokered cease-fire calling for an end to hostilities, the effects of the weekend's violence could be felt in towns like Netivot, where a rocket exploded in a parking lot on Tuesday evening injuring one person.

Netivot municipality head Moshe Mimon said that just over half of the registered students showed up to class on Wednesday morning, according to Army Radio, as residents were still spooked by the rocket attack which smashed shop windows and sent shrapnel flying. One man, approximately 40 years of age, was lightly injured in the attack and 11 other local residents suffered from shock.

IAF planes struck two targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday in response to terrorists in Gaza breaking the tenuous truce with rocket attacks like the one in Netivot, bringing the cease-fire further into question.

On Tuesday evening, two rockets landed in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area, marking the first such attacks since midday. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks.

The fragile state of calm came after four days of violence in the South, with over 200 rockets fired from Gaza and 26 Palestinians killed in IAF strikes, 22 of which were terrorists. The hostilities began on Friday when the IDF killed two Islamic Jihad terrorists that Israel charged were plotting a cross-border terror attack from Sinai.

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Speaking via video feed from an Iron Dome battery protecting Ashdod to a New York fundraiser, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz said that rocket attacks such as the one in Netivot would be met with Israeli air strikes. "If the fire continues, we will respond as we did before. We managed to kill 22 terrorists in recent days, and as of now the terrorists have been decimated."

Gantz's comments followed similar statements made Tuesday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that “quiet will bring quiet,” but warned Israel would strike anybody trying to attack it.

An Egyptian security official told Reuters on Tuesday that both sides had "agreed to end the current operations," with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to "stop assassinations," and an overall agreement "to begin a comprehensive and mutual calm."

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Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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