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Israel declares &#34no-go zone&#34 in northern Gaza | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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GAZA, (Reuters) – Israel declared a new &#34buffer zone&#34 within part of the northern Gaza Strip from 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) on Wednesday to try to stop militants firing rockets, leaflets dropped to warn Palestinians said.

&#34Anyone who will not heed this warning is placing his or her life in immediate danger,&#34 said the leaflet.

It included a map that appeared to outline a swathe of the territory where thousands of Palestinians live. The army said the areas were uninhabited former Jewish settlements.

There is no plan for ground forces to re-enter Gaza, three months after Israel withdrew troops to end 38 years of rule in the territory. The zone is to be enforced with air strikes and shelling.

&#34The Israeli army will carry out intensive military actions in the northern areas of the Gaza Strip against the terrorist elements who fire rockets against the State of Israel,&#34 they said.

The new zone is in addition to heavy Israeli artillery fire and missile strikes on northern Gaza in the past week in a bid to halt the firing of rockets.

The makeshift rockets rarely cause casualties but could complicate Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon”s bid for re-election in a March 28 poll. Sharon”s rightist rivals have denounced Israel”s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September as a surrender to violence that harms Israeli security.