Jerusalem Israel reopened its border with Gaza on Friday to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid, despite continued rocket and mortar fire from the coastal strip and growing expectations of a large-scale Israeli military campaign against Palestinian militants.
One rocket fired by militants late Friday landed short of its target and struck a house in northern Gaza, killing two Palestinian girls, ages 5 and 12, said Health Ministry official Dr. Moiaya Hassanain. The two girls were cousins, he said, adding that three other children were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The military said approximately 90 trucks were delivering medicine, fuel, cooking gas and other vital goods into Gaza. The shipment included a large donation of goods from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s wife as well as more than 150,000 gallons of fuel and 200 tons of natural gas, the military said.
Israel’s Defense Ministry said it agreed to open its cargo crossings into Gaza to avoid a humanitarian crisis there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the decision came after consultations with defense officials as well as calls from the international community. Israel controls Gaza’s cargo crossings, which are used to deliver food, fuel and other goods into the territory.