GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An Israeli air strike against a Palestinian rocket squad killed an extremist yesterday, the first death in Gaza since Hamas formally declared an end to a six-month truce.
Palestinians fired 10 rockets and at least 23 mortar shells from Gaza into Israel, causing some property damage but no casualties, the Israeli military said. An Israeli air strike at one of the rocket squads in northern Gaza killed one person, said the army and Palestinian medics.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the armed wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, identified the dead man as one of its fighters. Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it was behind the mortar fire.
A six-month truce that expired Friday had curbed violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, though sporadic fighting has continued. Hamas declared Friday that it would not continue the truce.
Also yesterday, a boat carrying a Qatari delegation, Lebanese activists and journalists from Israel and Lebanon sailed into Gaza City's small port in defiance of a border blockade. It was the fifth such boat trip since the summer and the first official Arab delegation to reach Gaza.
Israel and Egypt closed Gaza's borders after Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007. Since November, Israel has tightened the blockade to pressure Gaza extremists to halt their rocket fire on Israeli border towns.
The two Qatari citizens aboard the vessel that reached Gaza are from the government-funded Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities.
"We are here to represent the Qatar government and people," said delegation member Aed al-Kahtani. "We will look into the needs of our brothers in Gaza, and find out what is the most appropriate way to bring in [aid]."
Qatar has warm relations with both Israel and Hamas.
Hamas has called on Arab countries to challenge Israel by sailing to Gaza.
"We hope it will be the beginning of Arab moves to break the blockade," said Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.
In the West Bank, Palestinian inmates clashed with their Israeli guards at a prison camp near Ramallah.
The Palestinian deputy minister of prisoner affairs, Ziad Abu Ein, said guards were carrying out an inspection in the Ofer prison camp when fighting broke out. Guards used stun grenades, tear gas and clubs and eight prisoners were injured, he said.