Israel army says rockets from Rafah target key Gaza crossing

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The Israeli army said the Kerem Shalom crossing, which has been key to Gaza aid operations, was again targeted on Wednesday by rocket fire that “lightly injured” one soldier.

“Eight launches were identified crossing from the area of Rafah into the area of Kerem Shalom”, a military statement read, adding that “as a result of the launches, an IDF (army) soldier was lightly injured.”

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The Israeli army said that it reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Wednesday morning.

It was closed for three days following a Hamas rocket attack on Sunday that killed four soldiers. Another rocket launch had targeted the crossing Monday.

“Trucks from Egypt carrying humanitarian aid, including food, water, shelter equipment, medicine and medical equipment donated by the international community are already arriving at the crossing,” the army said Wednesday in a joint statement with COGAT, the defence ministry body that oversees Palestinian civil affairs.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said the crossing remained closed.

Overnight Monday-Tuesday, Israeli troops seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt after launching an incursion into the eastern sector of the city.

UNRWA spokeswoman Juliette Touma said the Rafah crossing is crucial for UNRWA, the main aid agency operating in Gaza.

“We normally get fuel through Rafah,” not Kerem Shalom, Touma said.

Without fuel entering Gaza through Rafah, trucks cannot pick up aid from Kerem Shalom, she added.

“There’s not been humanitarian supplies for the past three days. We have started rationing fuel,” she said, adding that the territory needed 300,000 liters (79,250 gallons) of fuel a day for humanitarian purposes.

Israel’s staunchest ally the United States too called for the reopening of both crossings.

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