Israel bombs Gaza food-tunnels

The Palestine Telegraph

Israeli warplanes have pounded a building near the town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip and destroyed two tunnels in the city of Rafah along the Egyptian border. An Israeli army spokeswoman on Thursday confirmed the overnight attack, claiming the targets were facilities used to procure weapons for the Palestinian resistance groups in the blockaded territory.

Palestinian sources said three people were hurt in the airstrike, while eyewitnesses reported Israeli F-16 fighters targeted a military training compound belonging to Ezzeddin Qassam brigades.

Tel Aviv said the airstrike was in response to a Wednesday rocket attack by Hamas which hit the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, in the western Negev.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian youth to death, critically wounded another near the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip and kidnapped three others.

Israeli army officials said the Palestinians were suspected of placing explosives near an Israeli separation fence, but could not confirm if the youth were armed or carrying explosives.

Hamas police rejected the allegations and described those shot on Friday as youth who had gone to the area for hunting.

Following the border incident, Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired a Qassam rocket into southern Israel, which did not cause any injuries or damage to properties.

Israel regularly attacks the southern Gaza Strip, mostly targeting Rafah's cross-border tunnels that connect the closed coastal sliver to the neighboring Egypt.

Palestinians say the tunnels are the only resort to provide food and other basic needs for the starving population in the impoverished territory.

The Hamas-run Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege and severe movement restrictions since June 2007, with food aid handouts maintaining half of its 1.5 million-strong population.

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