Two die in air raid on Gaza tunnels


Date: 2nd May 2009

Source: Al Jazeera English

The Rafah tunnels are used by Palestinian groups to  ferry supplies covertly into Gaza [AFP]

The bodies of two Palestinians have been recovered from a tunnel in Gaza bombed by Israeli aircraft, medical workers say.

The air raids, which targeted several tunnels each running between Gaza and Egypt, took place on Saturday near the near the border town of Rafah, the Israeli military said.

The bombing came shortly after three mortar rounds were launched into Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip, causing no casualties.

The Palestinian Resistance Committees, an armed group in Gaza, said that it had fired the mortars.

Raids resume

The raids on Saturday came a day after Israel bombed several tunnels, saying they were used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

The coastal territory is under the de facto control of Hamas, an armed Palestinian political group that does not explicitly recognise the Jewish state.

The latest round of Israeli air raids are the first to target Palestinian tunnels in nearly two months.

Missile fire by Palestinian rocket squads has diminished since Egypt began efforts to ensure that a January 18 truce that ended Israel’s 22-day offensive on Gaza holds.

Israel launched its war on Gaza with the stated aim of preventing armed groups in Gaza from firing rockets towards its territory.

At least 1,417 Palestinians were killed during the war, of whom 926 were civilians, a Palestinian human rights organisation says.

The Israeli military says the death toll was 1,166, of whom 295 were civilians. At least 13 Israelis, including three civilians, died over the course of the conflict.

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