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Fierce clashes mar Gaza truce

Heavy clashes erupted in Rafah less than an hour after a humanitarian truce came into effect, resulting in the deaths of at least 70 Palestinians and the possible kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.
Palestinians react following what witnesses said was heavy Israeli shelling, at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 1, 2014.  A Gaza ceasefire crumbled only hours after it began on Friday, with at least 40 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and Israel accusing militants of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-brokered truce by firing rockets and mortars. The 72-hour break announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so f

Less than an hour after the announcement of the humanitarian truce in Gaza on Aug. 1, violent clashes erupted between Hamas fighters and the Israeli army near the Karam Abu Salem crossing in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, told Al-Monitor that 70 people have been killed and at least 300 wounded as a result of intensive Israeli bombardment by aircraft, artillery and warships that targeted several areas in eastern Rafah. The Israeli army expressed concerns that a soldier, Hadar Goldin, may have been captured during the fighting with Hamas' military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, this morning. Israeli media reported that his family has already been informed.

Meanwhile, Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, said that Hamas fighters kidnapped the Israeli soldier and killed two others before the truce came into effect.

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