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Israel shuts down Gaza crossings again after rocket fire
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18:47, December 16, 2008

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Israel on Tuesday closed all the crossings linking to the Gaza Strip again, after Palestinian militants fired four Qassam rockets from the coastal area at southern Israel early on the day.

The Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack. No injuries or damage were caused in the rocket shelling.

The closure came just one day after Israel opened cargo crossings into the Gaza Strip to allow food and fuel supplies in.

Israel first imposed economic restrictions on the Gaza Strip in2006 after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid. A year later, Israel upgraded the sanctions into tight blockade after Hamas seized security installations on the territory, defeating security forces of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas.

In June, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel to ease Gaza blockade in exchange for halting Palestinian rocket-fire from Gaza. But in early November, the agreement was rocked and Israel again tightened the blockade.

The ceasefire will expire on Friday, with Hamas leaders ruling out any extension.


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