ALGEMEINER LIVE UPDATES DAY 7: More Rockets Slam Israel, Druze Civilian and 18 Year Old Soldier Killed
Below are The Algemeiner’s continued live updates on Operation Pillar of Defense, entering day seven. For a recap of Monday’s events please see our blog. For our most recent update on the rockets fired at Jerusalem click here. Go here for a story on U.S. warships headed to Israel. See here to read about the accusations Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan leveled against Israel. For more information please check our homepage.
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WRAP: The Algemeiner is concluding our live updates for tonight and will continue to report on all developments. Please stay tuned for a new live update blog tomorrow and check back to the Algemeiner home page for breaking news. Thank you for joining us.
7:00 pm – Statements by Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who met today as rockets continued to strike Israel and the IDF targeted terror infrastructure in Gaza:
Prime Minister Netanyahu: ”I want to welcome Secretary Clinton once again to Jerusalem. I want to thank President Obama, you and the American government, and the people, for their strong support for Israel in this hour of need. I want to also thank you especially for your support of Iron Dome. It has been saving lives, and we are in a battle to save lives. One of the things that we are doing is trying to resist and counter a terrorist barrage which is aimed directly at our civilians and doing so by minimizing civilian casualties, whereas the terrorist enemies of Israel are doing everything in their power to maximize the number of civilian casualties. Obviously, no country can tolerate a wanton attack on its civilians.
Now if there is a possibility of achieving solution to this problem through diplomatic means, we prefer that, but if not, I’m sure you understand that Israel will have to take whatever action is necessary to defend its people. This is something that I don’t have to explain to Americans. I know that President Obama, you and the American people understand that perfectly well, and I thank you once again for your support. Welcome to Jerusalem.”
Secretary of State Clinton: ”Thank you very much, Prime Minister. I look forward to a productive discussion this evening at such a critical moment for Israel and the region.
President Obama asked me to come to Israel with a very clear message: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering. That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored. The goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
President Obama has emphasized these same points in his multiple conversations with President Morsi of Egypt and we appreciate President Morsi’s personal leadership and Egypt’s efforts thus far. As a regional leader and neighbor, Egypt has the opportunity and responsibility to continue playing a crucial and constructive role in this process. I will carry this message to Cairo tomorrow. I will also be consulting with President Abbas in Ramallah.
Let me also say, to echo the Prime Minister, I am very pleased that the Iron Dome defense system is performing so well. Our partnership and support of this system represents America’s enduring commitment to the safety and security of the Israeli people, and to Israel’s right to defend itself. But no defense is perfect, and our hearts break for the loss of every civilian, Israeli and Palestinian, and for all those who have been wounded or who are living in fear and danger, I know today was a difficult day, and I offer my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were lost and injured.
In the end, there is no substitute for security and for a just and lasting peace, and the current crisis certainly focuses us on the urgency of this broader goal. So in the days ahead, the United States will work with our partners here in Israel and across the region toward an outcome that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves conditions for the people of Gaza and moves towards a comprehensive peace for all people of the region, and I thank you, Prime Minister, for your hospitality and look forward to our discussion.”
5:30 pm - IDF tweets: “Warning to reporters in Gaza: Stay away from Hamas operatives & facilities. Hamas, a terrorist group, will use you as human shields.”
4:15 pm – The IDF releases its summary of evening events:
“During the course of the evening, the IDF continued targeting dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including a bank used to finance Hamas operatives, a site in the southern Gaza Strip used to launch terror attacks, a Hamas command and control center in the northern Gaza Strip, a military hideout and a senior operatives’ meeting place.
In addition, the IDF targeted tunnels containing explosives, four weapons storage facilities, two weapon manufacturing facilities, as well as a system of tunnels used to transport gas to the Hamas, gas that was used to support terror activities.
Furthermore, IAF aircraft targeted several terror operatives as well as terrorist squads that were preparing to fire anti-tank missiles towards Israel. Israeli Navy soldiers and IAF aircraft targeted several rocket launching sites and seven underground rocket launchers.
The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens.”
3:20 pm – President Peres met with UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon this afternoon. Peres said: “There is no member of the United Nations, nor the United Nations itself, that can allow 1300 rockets to be aimed at their civilians; women and children. The leaders of the world must insist that Hamas stop the fire and must make clear that terror is unacceptable.”
2:49 pm – Headline rundown from the Times of Israel “Woman injured in West Bank stoning; heavy rocket attacks on Ashkelon, Ashdod and, for the first time, Rishon Lezion, with direct hits on buildings and one serious injury; missile aimed at Jerusalem falls near Gush Etzion; Hillary Clinton en route.”
2:24 pm – An Israeli civilian was also killed in the mortar attack earlier today that left an 18 year old Israeli soldier dead.
1:42 pm – A diplomatic source in Jerusalem tells The Algemeiner that “tonight there will be a declaration of a mutual ceasefire only, with an agreement for both sides to suspend shooting. From tomorrow, there is supposed to be negotiations over a “long-term” ceasefire, under Clinton’s supervision.”
1:32 pm – IDF Tweets: “The IDF targeted an Islamic Jihad site in #Gaza. Yunis Shaluf, who was responsible for rocket fire on Eilat several months ago, was killed.”
1:00 pm – The IDF released the name of an 18 year old Israeli soldier who was killed in a Gaza rocket attack. 5 other soldiers were injured in an attack earlier today.
“Corporal Yosef Fartuk, 18 years old from the community of Emmanuel was killed earlier this afternoon by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hit the Eshkol Regional Council.
The family of the soldier has been notified.
The soldier has been promoted to the rank of Corporal following his death.”
11:15 am – Egypt’s Ambassador to Israel in an interview with Egyptian liberal newspaper Al-Watan: Israel has no hostile intent towards Egypt, wants to preserve peace, public suspicion of Israel unfounded.
11:03 am – The IDF issued the following release:
“Earlier this afternoon the IDF targeted a terrorist squad adjacent to a structure used as a weapon storage facility and as a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip.
Also, the IDF targeted a terrorist squad in the northern Gaza Strip.”
11:01 am - AP reports that Hamas executed six alleged “informers” at a public intersection:
“Witnesses say masked gunmen have publicly killed six suspected collaborators with Israel at a busy Gaza City intersection.
The Hamas military wing claimed responsibility.
Witnesses said the six men were pulled out of a van Tuesday, forced to lie face down on the street and then shot dead.
Five bodies lay in a pile as a mob stomped and spit on them. A sixth body was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as people screamed, “Spy! Spy!”
Hamas posted a sign on an electricity pole, naming the six alleged informers.
The public killings came during an Israeli military offensive that has killed more than 120 people, both militants and civilians.
Israel relies on a network of local informants to identify its targets.”
10:18 am – Islamic Jihad radio: ceasefire begins in 3 hours.
10:15 am – Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reports:
“Israel’s air force dropped leaflets across Gaza City on Tuesday urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately” amid fears the military was poised to launch a ground operation.
“For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City centre,” the Arabic-language leaflet said, specifying certain roads that should be used.”
10:10 am – AP is reporting that an Israeli suspect wielding a knife and an ax attacked a security guard at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The suspect was in his 40s and has been detained.
10:02 am – Islamic Jihad says that a ceasefire with Israel will begin in 3 hours.
9:37 am – Another border incident in the Golan – fire from Syria damages an Israeli military jeep.
9:18 am - Israeli state radio citing high level sources reports that a ceasefire agreement will include a tripartite control mechanism Israel-US-Egypt. Sources believe it will last for a year.
8:53 am – Report: rocket hits a building in the Eshkol region, injuring five.
PREAMBLE: 8:47 am - Operation Pillar of Defense entered its 7th day with an onslaught of rockets being fired at southern Israel. Thus far over 60 rockets have struck the region today. Israel state radio is reporting that sources high in the Israeli government are saying there is a real possibility for a ceasefire by tonight.
Shortly after UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon arrived in Jerusalem sirens sounded. It was reported that two rockets landed south of the city in the West Bank. It was the second time since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense that terrorists had targeted the city.
Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also arrives in Israel. She is scheduled to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before heading to Ramallah and Cairo, where she will meet with Palestinian and Egyptian officials.