News24

Israel eases Gaza border restrictions

2012-11-24 17:05

Gaza City - Gaza residents said on Saturday that Israel has eased some border restrictions as part of its truce with the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, allowing farmers to visit land near its security fence and letting fishermen head further out to sea.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting that claimed 166 Palestinian and six Israeli lives, according to health officials.

As part of the deal, Israel and Hamas are now to negotiate a further easing of the Gaza border blockade, first imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

Also on Saturday, tens of thousands of Gaza children returned to school for the first time since fighting ended late Wednesday. About half of Gaza's 1.6 million people are children.

In 245 UN-run schools, the day was dedicated to letting children share what they experienced, in hopes of helping them deal with trauma, educators said.

In a sixth-grade class in Gaza City, boys eagerly raised their hands when asked by their science teacher to share their stories in the presence of a reporter. Mohammed Abu Sakr, 11, said that earlier this week, he witnessed an Israeli missile striking a car and engulfing it in flames. The boy said he had trouble sleeping and eating afterwards, and still feels scared.

New border deal

Thirty-four children and minors under the age of 18 were among those killed in the fighting, said Gaza health officials and local human rights groups. A total of 156 Palestinians were killed during the fighting and 10 died later of their wounds, they said.

The exchanges of fire were the bloodiest between Israel and Hamas in four years. Israel launched the offensive to put an end to escalating Gaza rocket fire on Israeli towns. Israel said it reached its objectives, while Hamas claimed victory because Israel didn't make good on threats to send ground troops into the territory, as it had done four years earlier.

Israel's air force carried out 1 500 strikes on Hamas-linked targets, while Gaza militants fired roughly the same number of rockets, including some targeting the Israeli heartland cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time.

The truce is to lead to a new border deal for Gaza, with Egypt hosting indirect talks between Israel and Hamas. Israel has shunned Hamas as a terrorist group and refuses to negotiate with it directly.

Israeli demands that Hamas halt weapons smuggling into Gaza, while Hamas seeks free movement for people and goods in and out of Gaza.

After the Hamas takeover in 2007, Israel and then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sealed Gaza to isolate the Islamic militants and make it harder for them to govern.

Restrictions eased

The restrictions have since been eased because of international pressure on Israel and because of regime change in Egypt. Both Hamas and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, elected earlier this year, are members of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Before the November 14 start of the fighting, Gaza received most of its consumer goods through an Israeli cargo crossing, while Israel banned virtually all exports and travel from Gaza, preventing the area's battered economy from bouncing back.

Items restricted by Israel, such as construction materials, were brought into Gaza through smuggling tunnels from Egypt, along with weapons for Hamas.

Israel also restricted the movement of Gaza's fishermen and farmers in border areas, citing security concerns.

On Saturday, fishermen were able to sail six nautical miles out to sea, or double the previous limit, said Mahfouz Kabariti, head of the local fishermen's association. He said several fishermen already made the journey Saturday.

"This is an opportunity and a chance for a better catch, though it is still a limited area," said Kabariti, who represents some 3 500 fishermen.

Israeli navy boats have been enforcing a sea blockade in an attempt to prevent weapons smuggling to Gaza. The restrictions on fishermen have fluctuated over the years, linked to the ups and downs in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Borders

Meanwhile, some Gaza residents said they were able to enter an Israeli-enforced buffer zone on the Gaza side of the border on Saturday with Israel without fear of being fired on.

Israel's military carved out a 300-metre-wide zone several years to try to prevent militants from sneaking into Israel. The zone gobbled up scarce acres of farmland in one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians surged toward the border fence, but Israeli soldiers fired to push them back, killing one man and wounding at least 19 people.

On Saturday, 42-year-old farmer Nidal Abu Dakka said soldiers stood and watched as he and others moved close to the fence. Abu Dakka, speaking by phone, said he was inspecting his land, some 60 meters from the border, and planned to plant wheat and barley soon.

In other border areas, residents said Hamas police kept them away from the fence.

An Israeli government spokesperson said he was unaware restrictions had been eased. A defence official said the Israeli military was no longer enforcing the no-go zone, but reserved the right to act against suspicious people. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the issue with reporters.

Comments
  • sello.molekwa.1 - 2012-11-24 17:40

    One thing I don't understand about this war is that Israel kills more Palestines everytime, but are the ones claiming to be victims.

      kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-11-24 18:04

      Because Hammas fires rockets from areas where they have woman and children and when Israel strike back, innocent people gets killed also. Hammas have got no respect for human life, even their own hence suicide bombers etc. Do you get it now?

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-24 18:13

      One thing I do understand about this war is that Israeli self defence is no crime. Just because Hamas has zero value for life does not mean that Israeli casualties should be on the same level. Israel spent billions of dollars on building bomb shelters for their citizens and billions more on a rockets defense system that costs 90 thousand dollars every time it is fired to destroy another Hamas rocket on its way to kill Israeli citizens. Truth is Hamas hide and fire these criminal rockets from Palestnian schools, mosques and hospitals. Hamas has no value for life and loves death more than they love life. Sello when you understand fundamental Islam you will understand why 40000 Muslims are killed in Syria by their fellow Muslims, to the complete silence of the Muslim world, however if Israel dares to defend themselves from Hamas rockets and a few dozen Palestnians are killed the Muslim world goes crazy in anger. This hypocrisy is the reason why you Mr Molekwa are confused.

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-11-24 18:49

      Why not, ask a rocket scientist,or brain surgeon.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-24 19:24

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

      rob.hiuo - 2012-11-24 21:01

      Ok Sello. I'm a south african working over here for the past 3 years and spend a lot of time in the gaza area. I'm not Jewish - not Israeli - not Muslim - not Arab - no interest in this place. But I gotta say that Hamas is doing some pretty evil things over here to their own population. I can't tell you how many times they shot rockets over to the Israeli side and we had to run to cover. Over the past year they've hit Israeli schools and hospitals and it's only because of Israels early warning and Iron dome system that casualties were spared. Gaza doesn't have that kind of defense, but I sat here and watched soldiers and airplanes stand around - no retaliation for months while they indiscriminantly shot rockets almost daily over here. I don't think the targetting of schools and hospitals was on purpose, their missile guidance is not that accurate. You need to come over here and see what it's like. It's not so black and white.

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-25 06:13

      duh, idiot, tell your terrorist pals to quit firing rockets and israel wont have reason to retaliate, wake up

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-26 06:37

      This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys. Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to the vast lands of the one group, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Racist Muslims like Ziyaad and White Supremacists.

  • peanutcluster - 2012-11-24 19:07

    Moses _ do you honestly expect the Palestinians to accept that their land is being occupied by Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe and be OK with that? Were you OK with it when the apartheid regime relegated you to third class status in the land of your birth and banished you to Ciskei? Mandela was also branded a terrorist!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-24 19:25

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

      acm.munro - 2012-11-24 19:41

      I am under the impression that the Jewish people returned to their original land which they occupied since Biblical days - Israel is quite willing to let Palestine become an independant country, but Hamas is against this, and Israel only attacks Hamas AFTER the latter attacks Israel.

      peanutcluster - 2012-11-24 19:46

      Fred - instead of copy pasting the same mantra you should encourage the Jewish settlers from East Europe to prepare to accept their inevitable future status as Palestinians of Jewish origin in an Arab State of Palestine. Israel in its present form is an expensive and unsustainable indulgence in the heart of the Arab world! How many more Palestinian women and children must die before you people face reality?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-24 20:03

      Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to the vast lands of the one group, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Racist Muslims and White Supremacists.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-24 23:59

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-25 00:00

      Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to the vast lands of the one group, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Racist Muslims and White Supremacists

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-25 13:23

      Patrick, Mr 3 percent !!!!! ( 35 percent====Phewwwwww !!!! ) Don't you ever get dispondent with hardly anyone agreeing with you ?????

      nskhokho - 2012-11-30 08:50

      Dont warry about Moses is med you can tel from the name

  • rob.hiuo - 2012-11-24 21:05

    To all the guys calling Israel racist. There's 200000 Ethiopian Jews here - not one of them is treated any differently based on their skin color. We should be so lucky back in SA to share the level of equality and colour-blindness and religious freedom everyone shares here - Moslem, christian, Jew, Bahai, Bhudist, Shinto, Chinese, Spanish, Black, White. It's plain nonsense.

      rob.hiuo - 2012-11-24 21:18

      This is a touchy issue and I'm sure that there are a lot of people here who feel some sort of solidarity with Gaza because they are the underdog and because of the populations sufferring and I understand and agree with that. But this isn't a muslim-jewish or east-west or israel-palestine issue. The israelis live quite peacefully and happily with the Wst bank Fatah Palestine and both sides are propspering from the relationship and relations are good. Hamas seized power in Gaza without the consent of the population. They use innocent Gazans as human shields and prevent them from leaving the city for safety. This is an issue about a couple of power-hungry criminals who don't speak for their people and who want a piece of the pie and will use Islam and people who don't know the difference between Hamas, Gaza or Islam to further their own agenda. Honestly, as a South African - I was very suspicious of any story where Hamas atrocities were reported - sounded like hollywood - until I came over and saw it with my own eyes. I urge everyone who has questions to do the same.

      Anstamboli Perday - 2013-09-27 17:19

      hello Rob, did you see my message in fb? I asked you some info about electromagnetic course. please check or send me email. miniattor@yahoo.com regards

  • Gcodi Matshona - 2012-11-24 21:36

    yes rob you are just like the rest of lieing zionist scum that post here,your ip address is south african,; )

      rob.hiuo - 2012-11-24 21:55

      Gcodi - I have no words. In addition to knowing nothing about politics - you also don't know how to look up an IP address apparently. When i left i was under the impression South Africans were level-headed relatively intelligent people - but you're making me doubt that right now. Obviously not how I remember it.

      rob.hiuo - 2012-11-24 21:59

      You're not qualified to comment on this issue and now you're shown you're not qualified to comment on computers:-). What's your profession? Male model? It's definately not something that requires reading or thinking or computer literacy. Good luck with your career mate. I hope for your sake you're good looking.

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-24 23:59

      Dear Rob You have to ignore these Musims talkbacks... They are full of hatred and are blinded by religous brainwashing. They think that Israel is a cancer in the middle east yet they have not even looked in the mirror and seen the cancer that they cause themselves, which is why I stopped replying to them. I too have been to Israel, been there four times for work. Israel is the furthest from racist there is. In Israel I met Jews, Christians and Muslims working to make their country better... I met Jews with ancestry from Poland, russia morocco and Iran. In South Africa we faught appartheid and I believe appartheid is still going strong in this present day. There is appartheid against Christians in Gaza, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi, Nigeria, Mali and Libia. When Muslims understand that they have fifty countries they can call home yet the Jews have one which they have owned for 3000 years then there will be peace in the middle east... I could never support an organization no matter how right they think they are that targets civilians and thus I hate Hamas and their blind supporters. There will be a palestnian state one day, but it will be born out of peaceful negotiations not religious wars. I pray for peace and I pray that Muslims open their eyes and stop supporting terror for the simple reason that they think they should be fighting the Jewish people. Islam is not making any friends right now.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-25 00:01

      Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to the vast lands of the one group, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Racist Muslims like Gcodi and White Supremacists

      malcolm.stevens.129 - 2012-11-25 16:00

      Another beneficiary of a failed ANC education system and ANC rhetoric. Rational argument is more mature, try it.

  • moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-25 07:56

    Israel is humane with their sworn enemies. Any other nation like UK, USA, Russia, or China would have wiped their enemy off the face of the earth 60 years ago... This is proof Israel wants peace, yet their haters are blind and brainwashed.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-25 10:05

      "Without so much as an angry word, nor a stone across the Caledon River, and definitely not a rocket nor a mortar shell fired into South Africa, in 1998 South Africa massively invaded Lesotho. Was that a proportionate use of force? What would South Africa’s ANC government do under the same circumstances and provocation that Israel has had to bear? Would the South African public not demand from its government that it react immediately and protect its citizens?" PASTED from a letter sent to me......just in case the critics think I am really smart...:)

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-11-25 10:25

      In truth and fact, supported by Hamas itself, Israel values Palestinian life to a far greater extent than Hamas values Palestinian life. This sickness, that is so prevalent in the perfidious Islamic world is so obscene, that the majority of ignorant people of this world cannot contemplate or understand.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-25 10:47

      @Yaya Why no mention of the IDF killing a 13 yr old boy on the 8th of November before the operation started. Is this also part of Israel's defense?

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-25 13:45

      Fidel, Ahhhh shame, now you are all upset with the IDF presumingly killing an 8 yr old boy! But , when your hero, this assad MONSTER, drops cluster bombs on residential appartment blocks, killing THOUSANDS of CHILDREN, not a peep from you !!! Actually , I had hoped that fb/news24.com , would have banned you for good from their sites! Ones who posts the personal details of others on this site , are thugs, WHO DON'T BELONG HERE !!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-25 14:53

      "What would South Africa’s ANC government do under the same circumstances and provocation" You a very dumb toos, the operative word here is provocation! Your snide tactic of implying hypocrisy on my part because I haven't mentioned Assad in the same breath as Israel, is intellectually bankrupt. Disagreeing with other posters here causes me absolutely no pain. I wasn't arguing whether Israel was/is right to respond but why Hamas started firing rockets at Israel. Also I have no interest of getting into a daft conversation with you, verktampte Anthony, or is it Anthony verakamp.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-25 15:38

      Fidel, YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN GUTTER SCUM, THE ROT OF SOCEITY, A PIECE OF SH.T BLOATED FULL OF HATRED , RACISM AND FILTH DROP DEAD YOU COCKROUCH

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-25 17:58

      Fidel, You are just a frustrated cow, as no one misses you CLAPTRAP !!!!

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-25 20:44

      Patrick, Why don't you and this fidel , just stay away from these sites, it was just so nice and peaceful for those few weeks you were banned !! Althoiugh many dissagreed with each other, it had some class, and NONE of this -------HATRED------RACISM----------FILTH------- where the two of you are MASTERS in !!!! STAY AWAY !!!!

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