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YNET, HAARETZ, JERUSALEM POST (Israel) IRISH TIMES (Ireland)

Worldcrunch

GAZA – Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza early on Wednesday morning, reports Ynet, its first attack in months.

Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the Gaza strip, in the first attack since November, when an informal ceasefire was signed between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Israel.

Ynet reports no one was injured in the attacks and no damage was reported in northern Gaza.

According to Haaretz, the air strike was in retaliation to rockets being fired by Gaza militants since the beginning of February. On Tuesday, three rockets were fired from Gaza toward the Israeli city of Sderot.

The airstrikes came as 4,500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails refused food in protest after the Palestinian leadership accused Israel of deliberately delaying the treatment of a prominent prisoner who died yesterday of esophageal cancer, reports the Jerusalem Post.

According to the Irish times, the 64-year-old prisoner, Maissara Abu Hamdiya, was arrested by Israel in 2002 and was serving a life term for attempted murder after sending a suicide bomber to a café in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority said Abu Hamdiya had been suffering from throat pain since August and pressed for his early release. They blamed Israel for delaying his diagnosis and treatment.

Israeli officials warned that strong violence could break out at his funeral in Hebron on Thursday.

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food / travel

Denied The Nile: Aboard Cairo's Historic Houseboats Facing Destruction

Despite opposition, authorities are proceeding with the eviction of residents of traditional houseboats docked along the Nile in Egypt's capital, as the government aims to "renovate" the area – and increase its economic value.

Houseboats on the Nile in Zamalek, Cairo

Ahmed Medhat and Rana Mamdouh

With an eye on increasing the profitability of the Nile's traffic and utilities, the Egyptian government has begun to forcibly evict residents and owners of houseboats docking along the banks of the river, in the Kit Kat area of Giza, part of the Greater Cairo metropolis.

The evictions come following an Irrigation Ministry decision, earlier this month, to remove the homes that have long docked along the river.

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