Saturday, June 22, 2024

Hamas launches rocket barrage into Israel from Rafah, sounding alarms in Tel Aviv

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Hamas terrorists launched a barrage of rockets into Israel on Sunday, with roughly a dozen of them being fired from the hotly contested city of Rafah.

Israel’s Iron Dome successfully intercepted the majority of the rockets, with alarms sounding in Tel Aviv and other major cities. The strike comes as Israeli forces are increasing operations in and around Rafah, what Israel says is the final major stronghold for Hamas in Gaza.

Hamas took responsibility for the barrage and argued it was retaliation for “Zionist massacres against civilians.”

Israel has faced growing international pressure to cease its operations in Rafah, which plays host to roughly 1.5 million displaced Gazans. Israel encouraged civilians in the region to leave areas where they conducted military operations against Hamas in an effort to minimize civilian casualties.

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Hamas terrorists launched a barrage of rockets into Israel on Thursday, with roughly a dozen of them being fired from the hotly contested city of Rafah. (Getty Images)

Rafah lies on the border with Egypt and had served as a major artery for humanitarian aid. Israel took control of the Gazan side of the border this week, however, and Egypt responded by refusing to allow further aid through.

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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.

Tents near Rafah, Gaza

Rafah, pictured here, lies on the border with Egypt and had served as a major artery for humanitarian aid. Israel took control of the Gazan side of the border this week, however, and Egypt responded by refusing to allow further aid through. (Reuters/Maxar Technologies)

Hundreds of aid trucks traveled through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing this weekend, but United Nations workers say they have had difficulty accessing the aid due to heavy fighting nearby.

The new aid agreement comes as a “floating pier” created on the Gaza coast by the U.S. suffered damage this weekend. The pier remains mostly operational, but four vessels that had served to stabilize the pier were detached due to rough weather.

Israeli military vehicle along Gaza border

Israeli military vehicles along the border with Gaza on April 24, 2024. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

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The U.S. spent roughly $320 million constructing the pier, which has been a conduit for aid from the U.S. and other countries. While the pier has been used to transfer roughly 569 metric tons of aid into Gaza, as of last week none of that aid had been delivered to Palestinians, the Pentagon confirmed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report



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