Five Palestinians, including two children, have been wounded by shots from an Israeli gunboat patrolling off the coast of Gaza. The military said the gunners fired at a fishing boat which had strayed off course. Other boats were hit, as was a house on the beach. Israel retains complete control of Gaza’s land and sea borders, and its airspace.
The Israeli army remains on full alert on the frontier with Gaza. The tanks and soldiers completed their withdrawal yesterday, but commanders say they are ready to go back in to Gaza if needed. Israel has, however, relaxed its blockade on humanitarian aid. Several trucks carrying food and medicine crossed into Gaza via the Karni checkpoint. The cost of the damage in Gaza is put at a billion euros. The EU and Saudi Arabia have pledged funds, and diplomatic efforts are underway to find a lasting peace. However, Israel said it will attack again if Hamas uses smugglers’ tunnels to re-arm. And Israel is ready for a prisonner swap to liberate soldier Gilad Shalit, seized in Gaza in 2006. Israel believes Hamas was weakened enough by the fighting to allow such an exchange.