OPERATION ‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ DAY 23: Israel’s Security Cabinet Resolves to Continue Operation as Gaza, IDF Death Tolls Rise (LIVE UPDATES)
Follow here for The Algemeiner‘s continued live updates on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Our report on the launch of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge can be found here. For details on the rocket attacks that led to Israel’s operation click here. To read The Algemeiner‘s live updates from previous days of the conflict click here. For more information please check our homepage.
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WRAP: The Algemeiner has concluded our live updates for tonight and will continue to report on all developments. Please stay tuned for a new live update blog tomorrow.
5:16 pm – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution calling for the permanent demilitarization of Gaza and denouncing the use of human shields by Hamas. Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC released the following statement with more details:
AIPAC commends the House of Representatives for adopting a bipartisan resolution calling for the permanent demilitarization of Gaza and denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas. The resolution also strongly supports the right of Israel to defend its citizens against Hamas rockets and the terrorist organization’s use of terror tunnels to attack the Jewish state. The resolution was authored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL).
The resolution notes that Hamas “has been using civilian populations as human shields by placing their missile batteries in densely populated areas and near schools, hospitals, and mosques.” In contrast, Israel “drops leaflets, makes announcements, places phone calls and send text messages to the Palestinian people in Gaza warning them in advance that and attack is imminent, and goes to extraordinary lengths to target only terrorist actors.”
The resolution further calls on the international community to recognize and condemn Hamas’ breaches of international law through the use of human shields. It also condemns the United Nations Human Rights Council’s “biased commission of inquiry into Israel’s Gaza operations.”
Hamas is engaged in unprovoked terrorist aggression against the Jewish state while employing tactics that have jeopardized the safety of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.
4:25 pm – Israel’s Ynet reports: “Rocket fire at Israel resumed Wednesday night with sirens sounding at 10:20 am in Rishon LeZion. Rehovot and Ness Ziona. One rocket exploded in an open territory in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Hamas’ military wing, al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.”
2:01 pm – The Times of Israel cites “diplomatic sources” saying Israel’s “security cabinet on Wednesday instructed the IDF to continue to ‘forcefully hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza,’ and to conclude its mission to destroy the tunnels leading from the Strip into Israel.”
11:03 am – Senior Israeli politician Tzachi Hanegbi says the IDF will remain in Gaza until all the tunnels Israel knows about are destroyed. Three new ones were discovered over the past 24 hours.
10:25 am – Three Israel soldiers were killed overnight in Gaza while uncovering an offensive tunnel shaft in a residence in the southern Gaza Strip, the IDF said. The house and the tunnel were booby trapped with 2 explosive devices that were detonated against the soldiers.
In addition, 27 soldiers were injured in several incidents as part of the ongoing ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of operation Protective Edge, 56 Israeli officers and soldiers have been killed
9:06 am – Palestinian media reports that 15 were killed and 150 were injured when mortars hit the Shejaiya market in Gaza. It is unclear if the munitions were fired by Israel or a Gaza based terror group.
9:01 am – According to reports, 19 Palestinians were killed in explosions at a UN run school in Gaza. The UN blamed Israel for the deaths and an Israeli spokesperson said that fire had been directed at IDF soldiers from the structure.
9:05 am – The IDF released the following morning summary of its overnight activities in Gaza:
In the past 24 hours, IDF infantry and engineering forces detonated three tunnel routes within the Gaza Strip.
Since midnight, the IDF targeted over 75 terror sites in the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the operation, the IDF targeted some 4,100 targets, including 1,566 targets affiliated with terrorist rocket launching capabilities, 167 weapon storage & manufacturing facilities, and 746 command and control centers.
Overnight, the IAF targeted five mosques which were utilized for terror purposes, such as concealing weapons, housing tunnel access shafts and lookout posts. In addition, the IDF targeted a facility utilized by a senior Hamas militant, who is in charge of the Hamas cyber division.
In addition, the IDF targeted a facility utilized by a senior Hamas militant in the Hamas military wing.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, over 2670 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli civilians; since midnight, 2 rockets were launched at Israel. Additionally, over the course of the operation approximately 280 rockets were launched and landed within the Gaza strip.
IDF forces are continuing with the efforts to degrade the tunnel network in Gaza, eliminate rocket-launching capabilities, and demolish terror elements operating from within the Gaza Strip, in order to guarantee security and safety to Israeli civilians.
8:45 am – Israel’s security cabinet announces a four hour humanitarian cease-fire, to begin at 15:00 local time.
PREAMBLE: 8:44 am – Early on Tuesday July 8th Israel launched Operation Protective Edge aimed at stopping “the constant terror activity that Hamas is aiming at Israeli civilians.” The major Gaza initiative comes in response to a significant increase in rocket attacks from the coastal enclave over the past weeks.
Since the start of the initiative Israel has targeted over 4100 terror sites in Gaza and has seen over 2670 rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli cities including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Gedera. More than 6 million Israelis are under threat of rocket attacks and many are spending the nights in bomb shelters. Over 1200 deaths have been reported in Gaza and 56 Israeli soldiers have been killed and well as three civilians.
Two weeks ago, while Israel accepted an Egyptian proposed ceasefire, Hamas rejected it and fired volleys of rockets into Israel.
Late on Thursday July 17th the IDF launched an extensive ground offensive in Gaza.