(Updates death toll)
GAZA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Israeli shelling near the southern Gaza town of Rafah killed at least 40 people on Friday, the local hospital said, as a ceasefire that went into effect only hours earlier crumbled.
Israel accused Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-mediated truce, but did not elaborate, amid Israeli media reports that gunmen had fired at Israeli soldiers in the Rafah area.
(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Giles Elgood)
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