OPERATION ‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ DAY 28: Israel, Hamas Agree to 72-Hour Ceasefire to Begin Tuesday Morning (LIVE UPDATES)
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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.
4:26 pm – Israel and Gaza based terror groups have tentatively agreed to an Egyptian-brokered 72-hour ceasefire set to begin Tuesday at 08:00, according to Israel Radio. Israel demanded “unconditional” terms. Israeli sources said that “If Hamas keeps firing, we will respond in kind.””
This would be the seventh such bid between the sides. Hamas, at least, according to Israel, broke every previous attempt to stop the fighting in the four-week-long Operation Protective Edge.
Israeli Cabinet members approved the plan in a telephone survey, according to local news site 0404.
“We hope this will secure a permanent ceasefire and restore stability,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the ceasefire initiative.
A senior Israeli official said, “We’re prepared for the possibility that Hamas will again break the cease-fire, or try to gain a tactical advantage before 08:00.”
12:21 pm – Police forces are sweeping the area of Tel Aviv Port in an attempt to locate a man who called the city’s police hotline and said he intended to carry out a bombing, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reports.
The caller, who did not identify himself, said he was on his way to carry out the attack but decided not to follow through with it, and sought to return home to Hebron, Ha’aretz said.
10:39 am – Netanyahu says that Israel’s Operation Protective Edge will continue until quiet is restored.
At the conclusion of a discussion at IDF Southern Command headquarters, with the participation of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman, the PM said:
“The campaign in Gaza is continuing. What is about to conclude is the IDF action to deal with the tunnels but this operation will end only when quiet and security are restored to the citizens of Israel for a lengthy period. We struck a very severe blow at Hamas and the other terrorist organizations. We have no intention of attacking the residents of Gaza. In practice, it is Hamas that is attacking them and denying them humanitarian aid. I think that the international community needs to strongly condemn Hamas and also demand, just as we are demanding, that the rehabilitation of Gaza be linked to its demilitarization.”
Netanyahu also thanked the Defense Minister, the Chief-of-Staff, GOC Southern Command, Israeli soldiers and commanders, as well as Israeli intelligence which has been assisting them. “There has been very strong teamwork here the goal of which is to bring security to the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel,” he said.
10:35 am – According to Israel’s Ynet News, 31 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since the unilateral humanitarian window began this morning.
10:32 am – At Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, security forces apprehend an Arab woman holding three hidden knives. She planned to perpetrate a terror attack, according to Israeli army radio.
9:23 am – An Israeli soldier was shot in Jerusalem near Mount Scopus. The suspected perpetrator fled via motorcycle towards the Wadi Joz area. Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
8:14 am – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visited soldiers who have been wounded in Operation Protective Edge, members of their families and hospital staff at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
According to a statement, Netanyahu told the wounded soldiers, “You are the best of our sons. You are doing holy work in defending the citizens of Israel. The entire nation is behind you. I am proud of each one of you.” He expressed his support for the families of the wounded and told them, “Your sons are heroes. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, thank you for educating them to love our homeland.” To the medical staff, the Prime Minister said, “You are doing holy work for those who fought for all of us.”
Netanyahu also met with a wounded IDF Nahal Brigade officer who volunteered for combat duty despite a medical problem. The Prime Minister wrote the following dedication to him: “I was moved by the story of your heroism, the story of your life. I wish you a quick and full recovery.”
8:12 am – One civilian was killed and several others were injured in a suspected tractor terror attack in Jerusalem. The Arab perpetrator was shot dead by a nearby policeman.
PREAMBLE: 7:58 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.
Late on Thursday July 17th the IDF launched an extensive ground offensive in Gaza.
Since the start of the initiative Israel has targeted over 4200 terror sites in Gaza and has seen over 3500 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 1600 deaths have been reported in Gaza and 64 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.