< HOME  Saturday, November 06, 2010

israeli jets bomb homes in Gaza

A file photo shows a tunnel bombed near the border between Egypt and the southern of Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

lsraeli war planes have attacked the Gaza Strip, bombing Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis and the tunnel network in Rafah in the south of the enclave.

Israeli jets flew over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, bombing civilian houses in the city, a Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported.

It was not immediately known if there were any casualties in the airstrike.

The second blitz, which struck Rafah, targeted the Palestinians' underground tunnels leading to Egypt and left one person injured.

The Israeli army frequently bombs the tunnel network, saying Palestinian resistance fighters use the tunnels for storing and smuggling weapons.

But the Palestinians dismiss the allegations, arguing they have resorted to the underground tunnels to bring basic needs to the impoverished Gazans because the territory has been sealed by an Israeli blockade for over three years.

In September, the al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said that 160 Palestinians had lost their lives while digging cross-border tunnels. It blamed falling standards of living and unprecedented levels of unemployment, together with unrelenting poverty, as factors leading many young Gazans to risk their lives in tunnels to make a living.

Some of the victims were killed during Israeli bombardments of the tunnels, while others died after inhaling poisonous fumes released inside the tunnels by Egyptian security forces. Tunnel collapses account for the rest of the deaths.

After Israel's assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters on May 31, in which nine civilians were killed, Tel Aviv slightly eased the land blockade of Gaza, allowing in more consumer goods.

However, the naval siege of the Gaza Strip remains in place, exports are banned, and imports of raw materials and construction materials are restricted.



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