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Israel allows aid into Gaza as new rocket barrage hits Western Negev

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GAZA, Nov 17, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Israel allows aid into Gaza as new rocket barrage hits Western Negev Israel allows aid into Gaza as new rocket barrage hits Western Negev

Israel on Monday opened a crossing point into Gaza to allow limited amount of humanitarian aid as militants fired a new barrage of rockets into Israeli border towns.

Kerem Shalom crossing point in southeast Gaza Strip was opened this morning to receive truckloads of food and other aid for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said Hatem Owaida, an aide to Hamas' minister of economy.

"We were told that 30 trucks will be allowed in today; 12 of them carrying dairy products and frozen food imported by private companies and the other trucks will go for the UNRWA," Owaida explained.

Last week, the UNRWA halted food distributions to 750,000 Palestinians as its storehouses ran out of rations. The blockade also forced the only power plant in Gaza to shut down, leaving quarter of the coastal strip in darkness.

The other passageways, especially Nahal Oz fuel crossing, will remain closed.

Israel shut down the crossings on November 4 following a surge of violence in which 14 Palestinian fighters were killed. The armed Palestinian groups responded to the Israeli operations by renewing rocket attacks into Israel.

The recent tension rocked an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire which calls on Israel to ease Gaza blockade in exchange for halting rocket attacks. The ceasefire took effect in June between Israel and Hamas which rules Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources said that several rockets landed into Western Negev this morning. The sources said the missiles landed in open fields.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad movement, claimed responsibility on the attack.