Thursday, March 17, 2011

F16s drop leaflets on northern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel's airforce dropped thousands of leaflets on northern Gaza Thursday morning, warning residents to stay away from the border area.

An Israeli military spokesman initially declined to comment on the issue, but a spokeswoman later confirmed that leaflets were dropped.

The Israeli military maintains that the border area off limits, describing it as a zone used by militants to launch attacks on Israel.

The no-go zone takes up some 20 percent of Gaza's agricultural lands, and eats into the coastal enclave as far as one kilometer, according to UN reports.

On Thursday morning, Jabaliya and Deir Al-Balah residents said leaflets advised those in the northern Strip to stay away of the border fence.

The last time leaflets were reported to have been dropped on Gaza civilians was in early January 2010, when residents of the southern segment of the enclave were also warned to stay away from the border area.

In January 2009, leaflets called on Gaza residents to call Israel and provide information on the whereabouts of resistance fighters.