Israeli fighter jets strike tunnels across the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt to further tighten the noose of hunger around the blockaded enclave.
The air strike on the first of day of the new month came as the international community’s silence drowns out its calls on Tel Aviv to lift the almost two-year siege on Gaza.
Meanwhile, Palestinians resort to launching home-made rockets on the southern Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Prior to Israel’s Friday blitz on the tunnels in the border city of Rafah, Palestinian fighters fired two rockets at Israeli towns, Israeli military officials said.
Many of the tunnels, considered to be the Gaza Strip’s feeding tubes since they are used to sneak food and fuel into the impoverished sliver, were devastated during three weeks of non-stop Israeli attack in December and January which left an estimated 1,434 Palestinians — including 960 civilians – killed, according to the UN.
The Israeli blockade has been in place since June 2007, when the Islamic Hamas movement had to take control of the densely-populated territory against rival Fatah’s move to topple its democratically-elected government.
On Thursday, The United Nations’ special envoy to the Middle East described the situation in the impoverished coastal strip as ‘alarming’.
The UN Relief and Works Agency has also warned that many patients have died and many others are in dire need of medication due to the Israeli blockade.