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Israel strikes Hamas position in Gaza

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An Israeli tank attacked a Hamas position in northern Gaza in retaliation for a rocket strike earlier on Monday, the Israeli army said, reported Haaretz.
The IDF spokesman said a "tanks attacked a Hamas position in northern Gaza in response to rocket fire at Israel." Palestinian reports also said Israel had fired two shells at a command post along the border fence, in Beit Lahiya.

Earlier a rocket fired from Gaza struck in an open area, causing no casualties, the Israeli army said. Rocket sirens wailed warning of a potential strike in the Ashkelon area, north of the Gaza Strip border.

The last rocket fired at Israel from Gaza was in mid-January when an Israeli tank fired back. There were no reported casualties in these incidents.
Monday's alert came a day after a Hamas field commander, Mohammed al-Kuka, 37, died of wounds suffered in an explosion the previous day. The circumstances of that explosion were not clear, but according to Palestinian media reports the blast occurred in a warehouse where explosive devices were made.
Kuka was buried on Sunday in a funeral that turned into a show of strength for Hamas’ military wing.

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Israeli military engineers have erected additional 10 km of the West Bank wall that runs along the demarcation line and prevents Palestinians from crossing into Israel. While the Tel Aviv government calls it a security barrier, Palestinians slam it as an apartheid wall, reported Russia Today.

The Israeli Defense Ministry has recently finished the construction of a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) section of the barrier, the Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday. The rest of the 42 kilometers (26 miles) barrier that runs along the demarcation Green Line near Hebron Hills is set to be completed in the next six months.

Once completed, the security barrier, located on the side of Road 35 in the West Bank, will fortify a segment which starts at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in western Hebron and extends southward to the Meitar checkpoint on the Green Line, through which Palestinians with the right permits can enter into Israel for work or other reasons.

Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to fortify the “gaps” of the West Bank security barrier during his visit to the area in July.

The following month, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot argued there was an urgent need to close the gap in the area to prevent some 50,000-60,000 Palestinians from entering Israel illegally daily. Eisenkot said that the concrete wall will also reduce terror attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.

The Israeli West Bank barrier construction started during the Second Intifada in the year 2000. However, erection of the wall there was almost entirely halted in 2007, with over 300 kilometers of “gaps” remaining.

The Israeli government views the fence as necessary step to stop the wave of violence inside Israel and as a vital measure against terrorism.
Palestinians view the wall through a prism of racial segregation and call it an apartheid wall.

Some sections of the 708 km (440mi) Israeli West Bank barrier are constructed of concrete blocks of up to 8 meters (26 ft) high. Concrete construction segments are more common in urban settings and in areas where people have been killed by snipers.

The majority of the barrier, however, is constructed using a multi-layered fence system. It contains a lighter-weight fence in the middle which has intrusion detection equipment and an anti-vehicle ditch. The middle fence is then surrounded by barbed wire on the two outer fences.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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