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News number: 8711121393

14:55 | 2009-01-31

World

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Rocket Hits Israel as Gaza Still under Siege

TEHRAN (FNA)- A rocket fired from Gaza struck near the Israeli city of Ashkelon amid protests to the continuous Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.



Israeli army said that a Palestinian Grad rocket exploded in Ashkelon on Saturday morning.

The rocket fired from the north of the Gaza Strip and landed in a field near the city of Ashkelon, but there were no casualties or damage reported, press tv quoted the Israeli army as saying.

The Palestinian rocket hit Israel as all the crossings into the blockaded strip are still closed and the humanitarian situation in the impoverished strip with over 1.1 million residents is at its worst.

Hamas says that reaching a truce deal between Israel and the movement would depend on opening the crossings into the strip.

On December 27, Israel launched a large scale offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip, leaving at least 1,330 people mostly civilians dead and 5,450 others wounded.

After the 23-day war on Gazans Israel declared a unilateral truce and Hamas announced an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on January 18 after the Israeli truce declaration.

The military operation on Gaza came at a time when Palestinians were already suffering from 18-month blockade, which stripped the area of vital goods, including food, fuel, medical supplies and construction materials.

The January18th ceasefire was broken January 27th after Israeli warplanes carried out a strike in retaliation for the death of an Israeli soldier killed in an explosion at the Kisufim crossing. The air raid killed a Palestinian farmer in the border region.

Eighteen more people, including 11 school children were also wounded Thursday, after the warplanes bombed several targets in southern Gaza. The Israeli military claimed the attacks targeted a weapon production site, in response to Wednesday's rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak threatened to launch a new strike on the besieged strip.