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Red Cross Issues Call for Relief in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross is calling on Israel to lift restrictions in Gaza and the West Bank that it says are causing "enormous humanitarian cost."

The aid organization, which usually refrains from making political statements, said Palestinians have "effectively become a hostage" to the conflict.

Israel closed most crossing points into Gaza, following fighting between Palestinian factions in June. The region suffers from frequent electrical shortages, crumbling infrastructure, lack of medications and soaring food prices.

Israel has defended the closures and other security measures as necessary to prevent militant rocket attacks on Israeli settlements.

On Thursday, Israeli police said a crude rocket fired from Gaza smashed through a home in the Israeli town Sderot, wounding a woman seriously.

Palestinian militants in Gaza frequently fire rockets into southern Israeli border communities, but the crude weapons rarely cause casualties.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.