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Israeli Tanks Enter Rafah as Gaza Cease-Fire Talks Resume in Cairo

WorldIsraeli Tanks Enter Rafah as Gaza Cease-Fire Talks Resume in Cairo

The Israeli military said on Tuesday that its tanks had entered Rafah in southern Gaza and had seized control of the city’s critical border crossing with Egypt in what it called a limited operation to eliminate Hamas fighters and infrastructure that had been used to attack and kill four Israeli soldiers on Sunday.

The incursion did not appear to be the long-anticipated full-scale invasion of Rafah, a city crowded with about a million Palestinians, which Israel’s allies have been working to avert by pushing for a cease-fire deal.

International humanitarian officials said the military operation had halted the flow of aid from Egypt into Gaza, exacerbating extreme hunger and privation in the besieged territory.

“The situation is catastrophic in every sense of the word,” said Dr. Suhaib Hems, the head of Kuwait Hospital in Rafah, adding that 27 bodies and 150 wounded people had been brought to his facility since Israeli tanks entered the city.

The Israeli military said it had killed about 20 people in Rafah, describing the dead as Hamas militants.

Hamas said it had fired on Israeli soldiers on Tuesday at another vital aid crossing, near Kerem Shalom, along Gaza’s southern border with Israel. The Israeli military said that four mortar shells and two rockets had been launched toward Kerem Shalom from Rafah but that no injuries or damage were reported.

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