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Israeli warplanes kill 3 Palestinians

A fresh Israeli airstrike on Rafah in the besieged Gaza Strip has killed at least three Palestinians, bringing the death toll since Thursday to 18, Palestinian medics reported.

Israeli warplanes fired two missiles which hit a private vehicle in the southern Gaza city of Rafah early Saturday morning, killing all three occupants, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.

Three other Israeli raids hit a tunnel near Rafah, the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip, and a car east of Gaza City, without claiming any victims, AFP quoted witnesses as saying.

Friday was the deadliest day in Gaza since the end of the 22-day Israeli-imposed war on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. Israeli fighter jets and tanks hammered the besieged coastal strip, killing ten people.

Israel has stepped up airstrikes and ground incursions into Gaza over the past weeks. Many Palestinians have lost their lives in the attacks.

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