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Israeli Air Strike Kills Teenage Girl

Israeli air strikes on a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Wednesday killed a 14-year-old girl and wounded seven other people, hospital officials said.

The attack targeted the house of Sammy al Shaer, a weapons dealer, witnesses said. The army called al Shaer 15 minutes before the initial raid and told him to clear out of the house, which he did, witnesses said.

There were no major injuries in the initial strike, which leveled the house. However, as children gathered to look at the rubble, a second air strike hit the house, killing a 14-year-old girl and wounding seven other children, hospital officials said.

The Israeli army said it had attacked a house used as cover to dig a weapons smuggling tunnel under the border with Egypt.

On Tuesday, Palestinian security forces discovered two underground tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border that they suspected were dug to smuggle weapons and other contraband. One of the tunnels, dug 27 yards underground, reached Egypt. Another was under construction and had not yet crossed the border, security officials said.

Since Israel pulled out of Gaza last year, the smuggling of weapons into the volatile coastal strip has increased considerably, the Israeli military says.

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