The Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank have been blockaded by Israeli troops today – in advance of a Jewish holiday. In a military communication, it was announced the blockade was taken in view of “security considerations”. Tanks still line the border between the Palestinian areas and Israel, in light of continued fighting between militants and Israeli troops.
Following a meeting with Israel’s Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni yesterday, the EU’s top diplomat Javier Solana met with Defence Minister Amir Peretz. Whilst Solana spoke of calming the tense situation through diplomatic means, Peretz remained defiant saying, “the rockets stop, then we stop.”
Yesterday, a Palestinian rocket killed an Israeli woman in Sderot. The 35 year old is the first Israeli fatality by such an attack since last November. Israeli air raids on Gaza have seen at least 34 Palestinians killed since last Wednesday. Numerous attempts at ceasefires in the last week have collapsed – Israel are, for now, refraining from a full scale ground offensive.