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Gaza-Egypt crossing hit by Israel for second day: AFP

Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt, its only one that bypasses Israel, was hit by an Israeli air strike Tuesday for the second time in 24 hours, an AFP photographer reported. Witnesses said the strike hit the no-man’s land between the Egyptian and Palestinian gates, damaging the hall on the Palestinian side. Contracted by AFP, the Israel military said it could “neither confirm or deny” any strike on the crossing “at this point”. Egyptian group Sinai for Human Rights said the strike had prompted the closure of the crossing but there was no immediate confirmation from either side. It was the second time the crossing had been hit since Israel launched a ferocious bombardment of Gaza in response to a shock attack by the territory’s Hamas rulers on Saturday that left more than 900 people dead in Israel. The previous strike on Monday had briefly halted passage through the crossing, a security source and witnesses said. There has been no comment from the Egyptian authorities. Israel has announced “a complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off food, water and electricity supplies to the territory’s 2.3 million people. The United Nations said Tuesday that the siege was “prohibited” under international law and called for the establishment of “a humanitarian corridor”. Travel through the Rafah crossing is restricted to humanitarian cases and requires often time-consuming authorisations. Egypt has long played the role of intermediary between Hamas and Israel.

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