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Israel Opens Gaza Border Despite Rocket Fire

BY Admin  December 26, 2008 at 10:30 AM EDT

Israeli soldier jumps down from a tank; AP photo

At least 80 truckloads of fuel, cooking gas, medicine and
other humanitarian supplies were expected to enter the aid-dependent Palestinian
territory in response to requests from international aid groups and Egypt,
reported CNN International.

Violence in and around Gaza
has flared since a shaky six-month truce expired a week ago. Under the terms of
the Egypt-brokered cease-fire, Hamas agreed to end militant attacks on Israel
from Gaza and Israel agreed to halt raids inside the Palestinian territory and
ease blockades on humanitarian goods.

Militants fired five rockets and two mortar rounds before
dawn on Friday, but no casualties were reported, according to the Agence
France-Presse.

One mortar shell hit a home that was unoccupied at the time,
near the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel
and Gaza,
causing some damage, residents reported.

The Israeli government has issued warnings to Gaza militants that it
would strike back if attacks continued.

“I will not hesitate to use Israel’s strength to strike at
Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on
Al-Arabiya television on Thursday, the AFP reported. “We have very great
and destructive strength which we do not wish to use.”

Egypt boosted security along its border with Gaza in anticipation of an
offensive.

Iran’s Red Crescent, meanwhile, is sending a shipment of aid
to the Gaza Strip, the state broadcaster reported Friday, according to the AFP.

“The cargo contains over 2,000 tons of food, medicine
and appliances and it will be accompanied by 12 Iranian doctors and relief
workers,” a provincial Red Crescent director, Ahmad Navvab, reportedly
said.

The shipment is expected to arrive in 12 days.

Iran, which does not recognize Israel, backs Hamas but denies
allegations that it is supplying arms to the movement, saying it only provides
moral support.