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4 Gazans killed in Israeli shelling despite truce

Four Palestinians were killed in Israeli artillery shelling of Rafah city on Friday despite a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in the bombed Gaza Strip.

"Four people were killed and 10 others injured in Israeli shelling of Rafah," Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces fired several shells toward Palestinians in the area.

The new fatalities were reported despite a 72-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip between Palestinian factions and Israel at a UN request to help civilians stock up on food.

The lull, which began at 08:00am local time (05:00GMT) on Friday, comes following 25 days of relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which killed at least 1440 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and injured 8000 others.

Israel claims that the offensive aims to undermine the ability of Palestinian factions to fire rockets at Israeli cities.

According to Israeli figures, at least 61 soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians by rocket fire.

Israel's military operation, codenamed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

Report by Ola Attalah for Anadolu Agency

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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