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Palestinian officials say they retrieved the bodies of two Palestinians killed after Israel bombed a weapons smuggling tunnel overnight on the Gaza-Egypt border.

Dr. Moaiya Hassanain a Health Ministry official in Gaza, said the bodies were retrieved Friday.

The Israeli military said the tunnel was targeted because Palestinians fired 12 rockets and mortars into Israel Thursday.

The border area between Egypt and the blockaded territory of Gaza is filled with smuggling tunnels that provide many of the day-to-day necessities and luxury items for crowded territory.

HRW

In a related development , Human Rights Watch charged Friday that Hamas militants are violating the rules of war by prohibiting a captive Israeli soldier from having contact with his family and the Red Cross.

The treatment of the 23-year-old soldier, captured exactly four years ago, by his Hamas captors is “cruel and inhuman” and matches a U.N. definition of torture because he is denied any outside contact, the U.S.-based rights group said in a statement.

Hamas militants captured tank crewman Gilad Schalit inside Israel in 2006 and have been holding him since then in Gaza, the coastal Palestinian territory controlled by the Islamic organization. Negotiations over a deal that would see Israel win Schalit’s release by freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including militants convicted of deadly attacks against Israelis, have stalled. AP

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