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Israel opens Gaza border for humanitarian aid
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Israel has decided to open a border crossing on Wednesday afternoon to allow humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip, local daily Ha'aretz reported.

Over 100 truckloads of humanitarian aid donated by foreign groups are expected to pass the Kerem Shalom crossing into the coastal territory, which has been devastated by massive Israeli airstrikes since Saturday, said the report.

On Tuesday, some 100 trucks carrying donated resources, including food and medicine, were allowed into the impoverished enclave through the same crossing, along with several ambulances, added the report.

Earlier Wednesday, the Jewish state turned down a French proposal for a 48-hour ceasefire aimed to provide humanitarian aid for the some 1.5 million Gaza residents.

"Gaza is not undergoing a humanitarian crisis. We're constantly supplying it with food and medications, and there's no need for a humanitarian cease-fire," an aide to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli's Supreme Court ruled in favor of a petition filed by the Foreign Press Association against an order barring foreign journalists from entering Gaza, ordering authorities to allow a limited number of them into the strip to report the other side of the story.

Over 380 people have so far been killed and more than 1,600 others injured since the Jewish state kicked off the still ongoing massive airstrikes on Saturday. UN officials said that at least 25 percent of the dead were civilians.

Despite Israel's devastating air raids, Gazan militants continued firing rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel on Wednesday, among which some landed in the major southern city of Beersheba, about 37 kilometers from Gaza. Since Saturday, the barrage has caused four deaths and over a dozen injuries on the Israeli side.

(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2009)

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