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Gaza fighters fire 14 rockets toward Israeli targets
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Israel99(33).jpgAt least 14 rockets and mortar rounds fired by fighters in Gaza struck Israeli-occupied territories on Monday morning, causing no injuries but damaging a home, the Israeli army said.
 
The latest incident added to the already-high tension in Gaza, which has been attacked by Israeli forces on an almost daily basis over the past two weeks. Fighters have also increased rocket attacks on Israeli targets, AFP reported. 
 
The rise in rocket fire has coincided with the start on June 12 of a deadly Israeli crackdown in the West Bank after the disappearance of three settlers.
 
Israel has repeatedly bombed Gaza over that period, killing at least three people and injuring many others.
 

Hundreds of African refugees launch hunger strike in Israeli prison
 
Meanwhile, hundreds of jailed African refugees began a hunger strike on Monday after Israeli police violently broke up a sit-in they were staging along the Egyptian border and arrested them.
 
Around 1,000 Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, had marched Friday to the border and set up a makeshift camp to protest against their "inhumane and unlimited" detention at Holot facility, AFP reported. 
 
Israel opened Holot prison in the southern Negev desert last year as part of a crackdown on African immigrants, with the facility open by day but locked down at night.
 
The demonstrators have slammed what they said was Israel's failure to process their asylum requests.
 
They are calling on the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to intervene to allow them to immigrate to a third country.
 
But on Sunday evening, police and immigration officials violently broke up the border encampment and took the demonstrators to Saharonim, another prison for African immigrants, the demonstrators said in a statement.
 
"We have been taken to Saharonim prison. Some of us have injuries including to the face and limbs. In protest of this violence, and our ongoing imprisonment we have now started a hunger strike," it said.
 
"We call on UNHCR to find an urgent solution for this situation and to protect our rights as people who have come to Israel to seek asylum and shelter."
 
Sabine Hadad, spokeswoman for the Israeli immigration authority confirmed that 779 people had been arrested at the protest.
 
"Each one will be brought before a committee to explain why they violated the rules," she said, adding that the inmates are required to sign in twice during the day, and to spend the night in the facility.
 
"They could face up to three months imprisonment for this offence," she said.
 
Under legislation passed by parliament in December 2013, Israel can detain immigrants who entered occupied territories without papers for up to a year without trial in move slammed by UNHCR which said Israel could be in breach of international law.
 
The law was the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on the numbers of Africans entering the occupied territories clandestinely, which Israel says poses a threat to its so-called "Jewish character."
 
Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on what it said were 60,000 African immigrants, rounding up and deporting 3,920 by the end of the year, and building a hi-tech fence along the border with Egypt.
 
The UN says there are some 53,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in the occupied territories, most of whom entered via the desert border with Egypt.
 
Of that number, some 36,000 come from Eritrea where the regime has been repeatedly accused of widespread human rights abuses. Another 14,000 are from conflict-torn Sudan.
 

Israel to tighten controls over East Jerusalem
 
In another development, the Zionist government on Sunday approved a plan to deepen Israeli control over East Jerusalem at a total cost of up to 295 million shekels ($90 million), with the aim of preventing the division of Jerusalem in future peace deals with Palestinians.
 
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the plan aims to strengthen the bonds between the 300,000 predominantly Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and the State of Israel, which is somewhat similar to the plan Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett proposed, which calls for the annexation of Area C in the West Bank.
 
The plan is set to extend over five years to prevent any chance of a division of the city as part of any future peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.
 

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