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Coming home Photo: AP
Coming home Photo: AP
 
 

Gunmen fire at IDF troops in 2 incidents

Force fired on near Gaza border, south of Kissufim crossing; 40 minutes later, gunmen shoot at another Israeli force in central Strip. No injuries reported. Meanwhile, army begins pulling out last forces from Strip. Reservists released, regular brigades remain in bases near Gaza, prepared for any possible scenario

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 01.20.09, 13:22 / Israel News

An Israeli force patrolling the area near the border fence, south of the Kissufim crossing, was fired on Tuesday afternoon. The Israel Defense Forces is looking into the circumstances of the incident.

 

About 40 minutes later, Palestinian gunmen fired at another force in the central Gaza Strip. The soldiers fired back at the shooters. There were no reports of injuries or damage in both incidents.

 

Meanwhile, the IDF was preparing to remove its last forces from Gaza following its three-week offensive there and deploy them outside the Strip.

 

The reserve soldiers were expected to be released later Tuesday, but the regular brigades were to remain around the Gaza vicinity and in nearby bases, preparing for any possible development.

 

Army officials estimated that the state of calm in the Strip would be maintained for a while and that Hamas would be busy restoring the organization and would therefore refrain from firing at Israel.


IDF forces leave Strip (Photo: AP) 

 

Many explosives and devices remain across the Strip from the days of battle, most of them belonging to Hamas. Two children were killed Monday while playing with a mine placed by Hamas fighters in an aim to booby-trap a building.

 

IDF: We helped evacuate 1,500 Palestinians

The Coordination and Liaison Authority in the Gaza Strip summed up the humanitarian activity during Operation Cast Lead. Colonel Moshe Levy, head of the administration, said that the amount of humanitarian aid was unprecedented.

 

The figures reveal that the evacuations of 382 wounded people from the fighting zone were coordinated by the administration. Humanitarian officers helped evacuate at least 1,150 uninvolved Palestinians from the fighting zone. In total, 1,300 trucks entered the Gaza Strip with equipment through the Kerem Shalom crossing during the operation, and 65 trucks came in through the Karni crossing.

 

Following the ceasefire, the defense establishment identified the expansion of Hamas fighters firing at Fatah members and people identified with the Palestinian Authority. The phenomenon is mostly prevalent in the northern Strip, with shots fired mostly at people's legs.

 

Dozens of Fatah members have been injured since the ceasefire took effect. In one case on Monday, a former Palestinian police officer from Jabaliya was shot in the legs. In several cases Fatah members were shot for laughing.

 

Simultaneously, Hamas member continue to kidnap Fatah men and jail them in houses seized from civilians.

 

Defense establishment officials said that Hamas continued to steal humanitarian aid brought into the Strip and attack UNRWA drivers. The Hamas men are also preventing the injured from arriving at a clinic opened for them in the Karni crossing and prefer to evacuate them to Egypt for medical treatment.

 

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