Update on Operation Protective Edge, Day 9

July 17, 2014

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News and links to photographs, videos and other information from Israel:

THE SITUATION

– After the Israeli government accepted the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement Tuesday, Hamas rejected the reported text, saying, “Our battle with the enemy continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity.” Hamas called it an initiative of “bowing and submission,” adding, “It was not worth the ink it was written with. ”
– During a six-hour Israeli ceasefire, Hamas fired over 80 rockets into the country from Gaza. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, “The retaliations of the resistance will continue until we achieve all the demands of our people, and any unilateral Israeli ceasefire would be worthless.”
Israel has agreed to a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday to allow Gazans to resupply for their humanitarian needs. An Israeli delegation is en route to Egypt to attempt to formulate another ceasefire agreement.
– As of this morning, Hamas terrorists have fired 1,248 rockets into Israel since July 8. This is, on average, over 145 rockets every day.
This digital visualization shows the overwhelming number and location of rocket attacks on Israel in the past eight days. The site also flashes in real time when there are rocket attacks.
– As of 9 a.m. today, the Iron Dome defense system has successfully intercepted over 200 rockets so far, including several over Ashkelon earlier today. The U.S. Congress has backed a measure to double its funding contribution to the system.

IMPACT

– Tuesday morning, shrapnel from a rocket hit a home in Kfar Shalem in Tel Aviv, where a woman in her 60s lives alone. The house has no safe room, but fortunately she was not injured. She is being treated for shock.
– As of 9 a.m. this morning the Gaza death toll, including civilians, is reported at 212. Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, explains the difficulty in fighting terrorism in Gaza when surrounded by civilians.
This graphic maps the scale and range of rocket attacks onto California and the east coast of the U.S.
– Finding shelter from rockets is more difficult outside in summer, as seen at this day camp in Tel Aviv and in this photo of children hiding at a playground.
– Despite the ongoing rocket fire and risk to their lives, Israeli technicians have donned bulletproof vests and special helmets to repair a line that delivers power to 70,000 Gazans. The power line was hit by a Hamas rocket  Sunday.
– At 7 p.m. Tuesday night, a school for children with special needs in Rishon LeTzion was struck by debris from an intercepted rocket, destroying parts of the building.

IDF RESPONSE

– The IDF struck 39 terrorist hubs in Gaza Tuesday night, bringing the total of targets hit to 1,750.
The Israeli Cabinet has approved a call-up of 8,000 more reserve soldiers.
– The IDF continues to warn Gazans in advance of strikes, yet civilian residents of Shija’iya and Zeitoun, and many in Beit Lahiya, are not evacuating their homes. The Wafa Rehabilition Center in Shija’iyah is also reported to be refusing to evacuate.
– Israeli troops continue to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza from Israel. On Tuesday, 102 trucks entered Gaza from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

GOVERNMENT

– Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed his security council Tuesday night, recapping Israel’s acceptance of the ceasefire, Hamas’ refusal and subsequent actions: “This morning, I convened the Security Cabinet. We decided that Israel would respond positively to Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire. Hamas chose to continue the campaign and it will pay for this decision. Whoever tries to attack the citizens of Israel, Israel will strike at him. When there is no ceasefire, our answer is fire. It would have been preferable to resolve this by diplomacy and we tried to do so when we acceded to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. But Hamas left us no choice but to broaden and intensify the campaign against it. This is what we will do until we achieve our goal – the restoration of quiet for Israel’s citizens while inflicting a significant blow on the terrorist organizations. These are moments in which decisions must be made with equanimity and patience, not in haste. I am determined to do the right thing and I know that you rely on me and on us to ignore the background noise and concentrate on the main task – guarding your security and your lives.”
– Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed German Foreign Minister Steinmeier Tuesday, saying, “I know that you know that no country would sit idly by while its civilian population is subjected to terrorist rocket fire. Israel is no exception… I want to thank the many world leaders, including yourself, who unequivocally condemn Hamas for the rocket fire on Israeli cities and for the clear-cut support for Israel’s right to self-defense.”
– Outgoing president Shimon Peres also supports Israel’s right to protect its citizens: “There is a moral problem, but I don’t have a moral answer to it. If they are shooting at us, and don’t let our mothers and their children…have a full night’s sleep, what can we do?”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4543811,00.html

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