Hamas Rockets Trigger Sirens in Tel Aviv Before Rafah Strike

Palestinian medics say 22 people in tents for displaced people were killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 26, 2024 4:30 PM CDT
Hamas Rockets Trigger Sirens in Tel Aviv Before Strike on Rafah
A washed-up US Army vessel and a strip of docking area stranded off the coast near Ashdod, Israel, Saturday.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Palestinian medics said 22 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike Sunday on the southern Gaza city of Rafah that hit tents for displaced people. Numerous people reportedly were trapped in the debris, and video footage showed heavy destruction and flames. The strike was reported hours after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza that set off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months, in a show of resistance more than seven months into Israel's massive air, sea and ground offensive, the AP reports.

Earlier on Sunday, aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of it earlier this month. But was unclear if humanitarian groups would be able to access the aid because of ongoing fighting in the area. Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed back to Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza's main cargo terminal, after a call between President Biden and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

But that crossing has been largely inaccessible because of fighting linked to Israel's offensive in nearby Rafah, per the AP. Israel says it has allowed hundreds of trucks to enter, but United Nations agencies say it is usually too dangerous to retrieve the aid on the other side. Hamas claimed to have captured an Israeli soldier during fighting in northern Gaza and released video late Saturday showing a wounded man being dragged through a tunnel. The Israeli military denied any of its soldiers had been captured, and Hamas did not provide any other evidence to substantiate its claim.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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