Roundup: Israeli helicopters strike on Hamas facilities in Gaza, no injuries: medics

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GAZA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Israeli army helicopters attacked on Sunday afternoon two military facilities that belong to Islamic Hamas movement's military wing in eastern Gaza Strip with no injuries reported, medics said.

Palestinian security sources in Gaza told reporters that Israeli army helicopters fired four missiles at two Hamas lookout posts in east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis close to the border with Israel, causing severe damage to the posts.

Medical sources said that ambulances rushed to the two targeted posts, but no injuries were reported.

Israeli media reports, which quoted Israeli military sources, confirmed the airstrike.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Radio reported that a booby-trapped plane carried by balloons, which was launched from the Gaza Strip, landed into southern Israel field close to the fence of the border with the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

The radio said that the plane didn't explode and it was detonated by Israeli police's explosives experts without reporting about injuries.

Since the start of the "Great March of Return" on March 30 last year, Palestinian activists have released thousands of arson kites and balloons into southern Israel, causing large fires and huge loss to Israeli agriculture.

A clam understanding brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations last September stopped such activities.

Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children demonstrated in Gaza city earlier on Sunday to protest against Israel's recent crackdown on hundreds of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.

The demonstration took place outside the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel.

The participants waved Palestinian flags and signs, calling for an end to anti-prisoners policies and demanding an immediate release of all prisoners.

Abdullah Qandil, the protest's organizer, told Xinhua that "this event of Palestinian children is meant to protest against the measures taken by political, security and army institutions in Israel against the Palestinian prisoners."

Mahmoud al-Deheny, a former prisoner, told Xinhua that the new tightened measures against Palestinian prisoners are "part of a political battle in Israel between political parties."

"The Likud party, Israel Our Home party and the Jewish Home party want to show that they can increase the sufferings of Palestinian prisoners to achieve political gains," he said.

On Jan. 3, Israeli government's officials announced that a new plan has been created to tighten measures against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The measures include reducing the number of family visiting hours, barring prisoners from preparing food inside their rooms, and reducing the number of hours of watching television.

Israel is currently holding more than 6,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners in its jails, including 250 children, 54 women and 27 prisoners who have been imprisoned for more than three decades.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society, a prisoners' advocacy group, accused Israeli politicians of using Palestinian prisoners for elections purposes.

A joint Palestinian committee comprising various Palestinian factions also denounced the new Israeli measures, describing them as "a declaration of war."

The committee called on international rights groups to act as immediately as possible to stop all these measures, "which contradict the international laws and the principles of human rights." Enditem

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