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  Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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Israeli aircraft on Wednesday attacked the network of tunnels linking
Israeli aircraft on Wednesday attacked the network of tunnels linking the Gaza Strip with Egypt as the bombing campaign in the Palestinian enclave eased, Israel's military said.

The army press service said Palestinian militants used the warren of tunnels to smuggle weapons and insurgents to and from Egypt. "The tunnels play an important role in maintaining Hamas's means of strengthening its terrorist potential," it said.

Israel launched on Saturday a series of airstrikes targeting the infrastructure of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic movement that controls Gaza. More than 380 Palestinians have died in the aerial assault, as well as four Israelis killed by rockets and mortars fired into Israel as a response.

Palestinian rockets reached the city of Beersheba for the first time on Tuesday, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the border with Gaza. More than half a million Israelis live within range of rockets launched from the Palestinian territory.

Israel has said its military operation was aimed at eliminating the threat to its population of rockets and mortar shells from Gaza, and was launched in response to increased militant rocket attacks since a six-month truce ended on December 19.

International pressure is mounting on Israel to cease fire, with European Union president France proposing a 48-hour break in hostilities to allow in humanitarian supplies.

Israel's Defense Ministry said it had kept one border crossing open for the three working days since its military operation began. In that time, 179 trailers of humanitarian goods have passed through into the enclave, the ministry said.


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