Breaching the blockade

May 30, 2018 - 11:40
Israel’s rocket sirens switched on

A number of Palestinian activists have set off on a sea journey towards the naval limits set by Israel in a show of protest against the regime’s crippling siege of the coastal enclave.

On Tuesday, Palestinians gathered at the Gaza City harbor as boats were set to sail to break the 11-year siege, which has prevented medical supplies from getting into the territory and patients from leaving.

The boats carry a group of approximately 30 people, including Palestinian protesters wounded in weeks-long demonstrations along the fence that separates Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories.

In a press conference held at the Gaza City port, the organizer of the plan Salah Abd al-Ati said the trip complies with all human rights regulations that ensure the right to travel and transportation.

“Gaza has become the largest isolated prison in the world and it does not receive its minimal rights because of Israel's blockade,” he added.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.

The journey marks the anniversary of the May 2010 attack by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla led by the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. Nine people, eight of them Turks, were killed in the attack.

The development follows the six-week rallies at the Gaza fence, during which Israeli forces killed over 110 Palestinian protesters and injured thousands more.

Israeli warplanes attack Gaza

Meahwhile, Israeli aircraft on Tuesday carried out airstrikes on bases belonging to Palestinian resistance movements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, inside Gaza, following mortar fire from the enclave earlier in the day, Hamas and residents said.

Earlier in the day, Israel’s military said that a barrage of 25 mortar shells had been fired from the Gaza Strip toward the south of the Israeli-occupied territories. No casualties were reported.

The army said in a statement that Tuesday’s attacks set off sirens and activated the so-called Iron Dome missile system, claiming most of the mortars were intercepted.
The mortar attacks, the largest single barrage fired since the 2014 Gaza war, came a day after Israeli tank fire killed a young Palestinian man and injured another in the southern part of the Gaza Strip as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its acts of aggression against the coastal sliver.

Tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the U.S. embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Apart from enforcing its blockade, Israel has launched several wars on the Gaza Strip, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were wounded.

Rocket sirens switched on

Reports have emerged about the activation of red sirens in southern Israeli-occupied territories, which warned of a possible incoming rocket attack on the territories near the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said the code red sirens sounded in the town of Sderot near the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday, declining to reveal whether any rockets had landed in the area.

Following reports of sirens sounding in Sderot, heavy machine gun fire was identified emanating towards Israel, according to Israeli forces.

Earlier in the day, a young Palestinian man lost his life and another sustained injuries after Israeli artillery units struck the southern part of the Gaza Strip as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its acts of aggression against the besieged Palestinian coastal sliver.

The death brought to 120 the total number of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” began in Gaza Strip on March 30.

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