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      Aid to Gaza Flows Despite Rocket Attacks on Israel

      Humanitarian aid continues to flow into Gaza despite the stepped-up rocket attacks on southern Israeli communities emanating from the region.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 7/1/2010, 1:06 PM / Last Update: 7/1/2010, 1:30 PM

      Yoni Kempinski

      Humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza are continuing without a break, despite the stepped-up rocket attacks on southern Israeli communities emanating from the region.

      On Wednesday a Kassam rocket badly damaged a factory in the Sdot Negev region. No one was physically injured in the attack.

      That same day, 128 trucks filled with humanitarian aid supplies were sent through the crossings into Gaza, as they are every day except Friday and the Sabbath. The trucks carried various foodstuffs, diesel fuel for the Gaza electric power generator, cooking gas and 82 electric wheelchairs from the flotilla.

      In addition to Wednesday's attack, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired more than 10 other missiles and mortar shells at southern Israel over the past week, and several more the week before. No one was wounded.

      More than 90 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza since January. Since the end of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 2008-2009 winter war against Hamas, Gaza terrorists have fired more than 330 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

      Humanitarian Aid Flow is Stepped Up
      Since Sunday, 541 trucks laden with food stuffs, fuel, gas and medical supplies have made their way through the Gaza crossings in order to deliver humanitarian aid to the region.

      About 10 days ago, a government order led to a 30 percent increase in capacity at the crossings, resulting in a rise in the number of trucks that make the daily aid deliveries.

      Mitchell: Hamas Behavior is 'Inhumane'
      U.S. Middle East special envoy George Mitchell visited the Kerem Shalom Crossing on Wednesday to observe the transfer of goods with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), Major-General Eitan Dangot.

      Sharply criticizing Hamas in a news conference held at the crossing, Mitchell called the terrorists' continued captivity of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit “unacceptable and inhumane.” He noted that the group continued to block the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from visiting the soldier, a violation of international law.

      “We condemn the kidnapping, and the conditions under which the soldier is being held, without allowing the Red Cross to visit him. We call upon [Hamas] to immediately release Gilad Shalit,” Mitchell said.

      Mitchell also praised the Israeli government for its increased capacity at the crossings, and its other measures designed to ease the situation for Palestinian Authority Arabs in Gaza.