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Israel launches retaliatory attack on Rafah after Hamas kills three soldiers in rocket attack

Hamas had claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the Kerem Shalom border crossing in which three Israeli soldiers were killed. The Jewish country launched a counter-attack on Rafah.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Jerusalem Published on: May 06, 2024 8:26 IST
Israel hamas war, Israel attacks Rafah, Hamas attacks Israel, Israeli soldiers killed
Image Source : AP Israeli soldiers at staging ground near border with Gaza Strip, in southern Israel

Israel attacked the city of Rafah in southern Gaza after three Israeli soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the responsibility of which was claimed by Hamas. The Palestinian health officials said at least 19 people were killed by Israeli fire on Sunday (May 5). 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 that it fired rockets at an Israeli army base by the crossing. Hamas media quoted a source close to the group as saying the commercial crossing was not the target.

Israel's retaliatory action in Gaza

An Israeli airstrike hit a house in Rafah shortly after the Hamas attack, killing three people and wounding some others, Palestinian medics said.

Confirming the retaliatory strike, the Israeli military said that it struck the launcher from which the Hamas projectiles were fired as well as 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 has been claiming that it does not use civilians as human shields.

Israel-Hamas war

Israel has vowed to enter the southern Gaza city and flush out Hamas forces there, however, the Jewish country has confronted mounting pressure to hold fire as the military operation could derail humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

The war began after Hamas struck Israel with a cross-border raid on October 7 last year in which 1,200 people were killed and 252 hostages taken, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 34,600 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 77,000 have been wounded in Israel's assault, according to Gaza's health ministry.

(With Reuters inputs)

ALSO READ | Hamas says Gaza ceasefire talks stalled, Israel vows military operation in Rafah


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