Sunday, June 26th | 27 Sivan 5782

July 13, 2014 7:00 pm

OPERATION ‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ DAY 6: Over 130 Rockets Fired at Israel, IDF Responds to Mortar Fire From Syria (LIVE UPDATES)

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Israeli children in a bomb shelter. Photo: IDF.

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 hereFor details on the rocket attacks that led to Israel’s operation click hereTo read Tuesday’s live blog (now closed) click hereTo read Wednesday’s live blog (now closed) click here. To read Thursday’s live blog (now closed) click here. To read Friday’s live blog (now closed) 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.

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11:15 pm – In day 6 of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF says that 130 rockets were fired at Israel. “That’s one rocket every 10 minutes.”

4:44 pm – The IDF responded to mortar fire from Syria with precision artillery fire at Syrian army positions, The Jerusalem Post reported.

3:28 pm – A rocket fired from Gaza hit electricity infrastructure in Israel that supplied power to Gaza, cutting power to about 70,000 people in Gaza, the IDF said.

2:07 pm – Israeli Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports that some 10,000 Palestinians who fled the northern Gaza Strip have found shelter in UNRWA installations – ignoring Hamas call to stay in their homes.

2:04 pm – Israel’s Channel 2 reports that the recent mortar fire from Syria into Israel came from an area under the control of Syria’s Assad. Israel is planning to respond, according to the report.

2:01 pm – Israeli media reports that mortar fire from Syria struck near an IDF position in the central Golan. There are no reports of damage or injury. The IDF has not yet responded, although the incident is not being seen as a “spillover” strike, since the firing came from deep within Syria.

1:31 pm – Israeli journalist Udi Segal of Israel’s Channel 2 reports that at the behest of Prime Minister Netanayhu Israeli ministers have agreed to undergo polygraph tests should military secrets leak from the cabinet.

1:14 pm – Israel’s Channel 10 reports that sirens have sounded in Ariel, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Bet El, Bet Shemesh, Gedera, Modiin-Reut, Beer-Tuvia, Jerusalem, and a number of other locales.

1:07 pm – The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu released a transcript of comments he made on major U.S. talk shows on Sunday:

“Here’s a difference between us. We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles. That’s basically the difference. They’re embedding these rockets that they’re firing wholesale into our cities, terrorist rocketing, trying to kill as many as they can. They’re not succeeding because of two reasons. One is because we’ve developed this incredible missile defense system, which I think is a stark development in the history of defensive warfare, with US help and I want to thank the American people, President Obama, the US Congress, for helping us fund this amazing development. But the other reason we’re succeeding – you have to understand some of the rockets do pierce through this shield and the reason we’re succeeding is also because we’re targeting the rocketeers. The rocketeers are firing from homes. These homes are actually command posts of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad army. That’s where they have their secure communications, weapon caches, rockets hidden, maps rooms and so on. These are their command posts. Obviously, we’re not going to give them immunity and so we have to attack them and we try to minimize as we can civilian casualties.”

“We’ve just received now a quiet alert as we’re giving this interview. Can you hear this through the…? Can you hear this? No? Well, what you’re hearing right now is the, that’s the calm alert. In other words, when we began this interview, we were under bomb alert and as the minutes passed, now we are being told that people can go out into the open air again. This is the kind of reality we’re living in, Bob, and we’ll do – as I said – whatever is necessary to put an end to this.”

“This is the same Iran that is arming, financing, training Hamas and Islamic Jihad; this is the preeminent terrorist empire of our time. Not even a terrorist state; it’s a terrorist empire. It’s got these terror provinces. You don’t want this Iran to have neither nuclear weapons or the capability to make nuclear weapons, to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in short order, in a few weeks or a few months. They could do that unless that’s changed.”

10:06 am – Israel Army Radio reports that Israel’s Air Force is expected to deploy a ninth Iron Dome missile defense battery in the coming days.

10:04 am – Following some confusion, Israel’s Channel 2 reports that rockets fired in the latest volley at Hadera and Nahariya came from Gaza, not Lebanon.

10:03 am –  Hamas took responsibility for the latest rocket barrage.

9:52 am – The IDF confirms that the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 2 rockets over the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

9:29 am – Israel Army Radio reports that air raid sirens are being sounded throughout Israel. Areas include Gush Dan, Sharon, and Nahariya.

9:01 am – Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of his government’s weekly cabinet meeting:

Israel is conducting a vigorous military campaign against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has chosen to attack our cities with massive and indiscriminate rocket fire. I said from the outset that we would respond in strength against this criminal firing at our citizens and this is what we are doing.

We are striking Hamas with increasing strength. We are hitting commanders, militants, arsenals and command centers. The IDF, ISA, security services, firefighters, the Israel Police – everyone is doing their part and doing it in the best way possible. But one must understand how our enemy operates. Who hides in mosques? Hamas. Who puts arsenals under hospitals? Hamas. Who puts command centers in residences or near kindergartens? Hamas. Hamas is using the residents of Gaza as human shields and it is bringing disaster to the civilians of Gaza; therefore, for any attack on Gaza civilians, which we regret, Hamas and its partners bear sole responsibility.

The leadership of Hamas and the other organizations has chosen – at a time when they are using the population of Gaza as human shields – to hide under ground, to flee abroad and to deliberately put civilians in the line of fire. This is the entire difference between us and Hamas – we are using defensive systems against missiles to protect the residents of Israel and they are using the residents of Gaza to protect arsenals of missiles. Nothing better underscores the difference in this campaign. Israel is a democracy that is fighting – in a legitimate and focused manner – against unbridled terrorists and no country in the world would do any less than we are doing to protect our citizens.

We will continue to act in a patient and level-headed manner, with responsibility, and vigorously in order to achieve the goal of the operation – the restoration of quiet for a long period while inflicting a significant blow on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The IDF is prepared for all possibilities.

Now, two other points. First, to the citizens of Israel: You are showing maturity and responsibility and I think that you are impressing the entire world. But I have one request: Do not be complacent. I know that there are people who are going out and who want to see the missiles. I ask you: Do not do this. I ask that you enter protected spaces. We are speaking here from a protected space. We ask you to be in protected spaces and to listen to instructions from IDF Home Front Command. Someone rightly said that that regarding civil defense, one needs not only an Iron Dome but iron discipline as well. You have shown this up until now. This could yet take a long time and we need both your support and your discipline.

The last point: Today in Vienna, the foreign ministers of the major powers are discussing the question of dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. I would like to remind them Hamas and Islamic Jihad are being financed, armed and trained by Iran. Iran is a major power of terrorism that finances, arms and trains the terrorist organizations we are fighting against. This Iran cannot be allowed the ability to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. If this happens, the things we are seeing around us and the things that are happening in the Middle East will be far worse. In recent years we have made various forecasts for the Middle East – me and my colleagues here around the table – and these forecasts have, to my regret, come true one by one. The prediction of Iran as a nuclear threshold state cannot be allowed to come true, it cannot. This cannot be and it will not be.

Thank you.

8:43 am – Israel’s President Shimom Peres released the following statement on the ongoing rocket fire against Israel:

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, addressed the security situation today and said, “Hamas terrorists aims to kill and injure as many innocent Israelis as possible. We do not wish to harm civilians. A reality in which 5 million of our people, including women and children, are running to bomb shelters is intolerable. We left Gaza of our own freewill, Gaza could have been prosperous and successful but instead it turned to terror. Gaza will be truly free when it breaks free of the shackles of the terrorists organizations.”

President Peres continued and said, “The IDF is fighting terror with determination and dedication. we cannot allow terrorism to drive our citizens into bomb shelters. There can be no compromise with terror.”

8:12 am – The IDF released the following summary of its overnight missions:

Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge more than 800 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel; approximately 635 rockets out of which hit southern, central and northern Israel. Additional 147 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome. IDF forces struck some 1,320 terror targets across the Gaza Strip, including 735 concealed rocket launchers, 64 training bases and militant compounds, 58 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, 32 Hamas leadership facilities, 29 communications infrastructures and additional sites used for terrorist activities.

Overnight, the IDF targeted more than 20 terror sites targets in the Gaza Strip. Since midnight, 10 rockets were launched from Gaza; 8 of which hit open areas in southern Israel and 2 rockets fell short in Palestinian territories.

Over the course of the day, Sunday, July 13, 2014, the IAF will disperse leaflets above several locations in the northern Gaza Strip. These leaflets warn the residents of Beit Lahiya to stay away from Hamas’ operatives and activity sites that pose a grave risk to their safety. The content of the leaflet was also conveyed by recorded voice-messages and text-messages

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman: “Yesterday, during a barrage of rockets aimed at Jerusalem, one of the rockets hit a house in Hebron. Clearly, Hamas has no regard for human life and its rockets do not distinguish between Israelis or Palestinians. We do not wish to harm civilians in Gaza, but these civilians must know that remaining in close proximity to Hamas terrorists and infrastructures is extremely unsafe. Our campaign will continue as long as Hamas persists with firing rockets at Israel.”

PREAMBLE: 7:04 am – Early on Tuesday morning 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 over the past weeks.

Since the start of the initiative Israel has targeted over 1000 terror sites and has seen a similar amount of 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 spent the nights in bomb shelters.

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