Israel attacks Rafah after Hamas’ deadly rocket attack

    Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a rocket attack claimed by Hamas armed wing, near the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, where Palestinian health officials said at least 19 people were killed by Israeli fire on Sunday.

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    Hamas’s armed wing claimed responsibility on Sunday for an attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza that Israel said killed three of its soldiers.

    Israel’s military said 10 projectiles were launched from Rafah in southern Gaza towards the area of the crossing, which it said was now closed to aid trucks going into the coastal enclave. Other crossings remained open.

    Hamas’ armed wing said it fired rockets at an Israeli army base by the crossing, but did not confirm where it fired them from. Hamas media quoted a source close to the group as saying the commercial crossing was not the target.

    More than a million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

    Shortly after the Hamas attack, an Israeli airstrike hit a house in Rafah killing three people and wounding several others, Palestinian medics said.

    The Israeli military confirmed the counter-strike, saying it struck the launcher from which the Hamas projectiles were fired, as well as a nearby “military structure”.

    “The launches carried out by Hamas adjacent to the Rafah Crossing … are a clear example of the terrorist organisation’s systematic exploitation of humanitarian facilities and spaces, and their continued use of the Gazan civilian population as human shields,” it said.

    Hamas denies it uses civilians as human shields.


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