A Palestinian rocket that missed its target has killed two Palestinian children. Four other members of their family were wounded in Beit Lahya, in the north of the Gaza strip. The Israeli army says militants also fired ten mortar shells and three rockets into Israel, from the territory governed by Hamas. Israel and the West consider Hamas a terrorist organisation, and Israel has blockaded Gaza ever since the Islamists seized power there in June 2007.
Rockets were being fired into Israel even before a truce with Hamas ended last week. Now Israel is preparing to punish the militants. But it responded to calls from the international community and let almost 100 trucks carrying essentials into the Palestinian territory, including fuel and grain. In the past Israel has allowed Gaza to resupply with vital goods before launching assaults. It is a densely-populated area of a million and a half people. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has appeared on an Arabic television channel urging Gazans to reject their Islamist rulers and stop the rocket attacks. He said it was a last-minute appeal and that Israel’s military restraint would not last indefinitely.