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Cease-fire at risk as hostilities rise along Israeli border of Gaza Strip

The Israeli air force struck multiple targets in the Gaza Strip very early Friday after a rocket attack on southern Israel. No injuries were reported.
The Israeli air force struck multiple targets in the Gaza Strip very early Friday after a rocket attack on southern Israel. No injuries were reported. (Hatem Moussa/associated Press)

Egyptian products are used to stock groceries where people with means shop alongside humanitarian distribution sites that distribute aid to the needy.

With the restoration of some movement of goods, the majority of Gazans still cannot leave the Strip, either through Rafah checkpoint into Egypt or Erez checkpoint into Israel, leaving the new terminal there all but empty.

Despite a ban on building materials, there is limited construction with cement blocks made locally from a combination of material brought in from Egypt and recycled gravel and other products scavengers try to collect largely from Jewish settlements that were evacuated in 2005. The hunt can be dangerous -- Israeli forces prohibit Palestinian access to these areas and in late March there were two reports of Israeli troops firing toward Palestinians collecting rubble.

Although Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, military operations around the Gaza Strip remain routine. On Thursday, the Israeli navy fired toward Palestinian fishing boats opposite the beachfront Sudaniya neighborhood. Snipers fired toward Palestinian territory near Beit Lahiya, the northern Gaza town close to the border with Israel.

The Israeli shootings have led some who live in the luxurious seaside villas in Sudaniya in the past few months to move out. For Kamal Awaja, the shooting at Beit Lahiya has deterred him from moving back to the town where he lived before the 2009 war.

"Even if they built me a palace there, I would not go," said Awaja, 50, whose 9-year-old son was killed and whose house was destroyed during the war.

He lives in a tent with his wife and other children in a field a short drive away from Beit Lahiya. "I'm afraid to go back there."


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