World, gaza

5 Israelis wounded in Gaza mortar attack

5 Israelis wounded in Gaza mortar attack


Five Israelis were injured on Monday when mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip fell near Erez border crossing in the southern Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, an Israeli military official said.

Two of those injured were taken to Barzilai hospital in a serious condition, the official was quoted by Israeli daily Haaretz as saying.

Violence flared again this week between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip following the collapse of indirect, Egypt-hosted talks aimed at reaching a permanent ceasefire deal.

Israel accuses Palestinian factions of violating a temporary ceasefire (which expired on midnight Tuesday) – a claim denied by resistance faction Hamas, which in turn accused the self-proclaimed Jewish state of attempting to derail the talks in Cairo.

Since hostilities began on July 7, at least 2109 Palestinians have been killed – the vast majority of them civilians – and more than 10,000 injured by Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip.

Over the same period, at least 68 Israelis – 64 soldiers and four civilians – have been killed, according to Israeli figures.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade that has taken an enormous toll on the coastal territory's economy and played havoc with residents' livelihoods.

By Anees Barghouthy  

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