Operation “Protective Edge” Updates: July 8-12

JULY 12

08:50 EDT:  The United States is evacuating all embassy staff from the south, to north of Tel Aviv.

Israel facilitating 800 foreign passport holders to evacuate Gaza before ground invasion of the strip.

The Israeli coordinator of government activities in the territories has received 800 requests to evacuate Palestinians with foreign passports from the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

The Hebrew-language Walla news website said on Saturday that the coordinator approved all the requests and the evacuation will start on Sunday through the Beit Hanoun crossing.

The 800 requests are from Palestinians holding American, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, British, Turkish and Australian passports.

Rocket strikes and Israeli attacks have picked up in the morning after only 60 Israeli attacks over night..

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went on Palestinisn television Thursday to condemn the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza on Israel,  The Gaza militants are outraged and Hamas is threatening  to cancel the reconciliation pact with Abbas.

In total more than 1,160 targets had been hit in Gaza.  The Palestinians report their total death toll had climbed to 121 and 900 injured.

Israel reported 750 Palestinian rockets launched in five days, with no fatalities,  and 82 people “injured”, four by minor shrapnel, two by falling while running and the rest just being scared.  The Israelis call anyone who is fearful, as being in shock and therefore wounded.

 

JULY 11 

16:15 EDT:   Seven Palestinians suffered injuries Friday after an Israeli airstrike targeted  a mosque in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood as worshippers had just left. 

Islamic Jihad fighters clash with IDF on the Gaza border. 

Large scale rocket volleys and IDF bombings continue to escalate. 

First report Israel strikes senior militant meeting.

Another rocket from Hezbollah strikes in the north.

08:15 EDT: IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Friday that the military was ready for a possible ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, and was awaiting an order from the political leadership.  The army believes a ground campaign could lead to a lot of achievements and to an extensive blow to Hamas’ infrastructure, mostly in places where the army and Shin Bet have no intelligence on.

Egyptian military sources reported  that border guards clashed on Thursday with militants that were trying to enter Egypt to fire rockets from Sinai. The Egyptians caught the militants at the entrance to a tunnel near the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. According to the military the militants  were forced to flee.  Twenty launchers and twenty grad rockets were found inside the tunnel which was destroyed by the Egyptian military.

06:45 EDT:   US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) on Friday morning, and committed America’s firm support for Israel if it decides to launch a ground offensive on the Hamas stronghold of Gaza. 

This war has been planned and prepared for nearly a decade as part of the New World Order series of wars that began in Iraq and Afghanistan: The goal is to eradicate the Gaza militants and then return Gaza to the Palestinian Authority under the occupation of International Peacekeepers to maintain order and prevent any militant rebuilding. 

After the IS is eradicated in Syria / Iraq it is planned that Israel move north to take on Hezbollah and Syria; opening the way for the Allied controlled Syrian insurgents to replace Assad.

04:27 EDT:  The Lebanese Army announced that three rockets were fired toward Israel overnight from the area of Marjayoun. During searches the army found launchers with an additional two rockets ready for fire which were taken and dismantled. After the rocket fire, the IDF responded with artillery. 

Hamas people are congregating in schools, mosques and hospitals to avoid assassination by the Israelis.  An Israeli ground operation is at the ready to go in and engage them.  Hamas has prepared thousands of traps and tunnels from which to attack and capture if possible Israeli forces.

920 sites have been struck in Gaza, as rocket fire continues unabated.  Gaza rockets now falling on Haifa.

JULY 10

14:30 EDT:  Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the IDF will launch a crushing ground operation in Gaza “within hours,” according to Channel 2.

The Israeli Security and Diplomacy Cabinet met Thursday evening to discuss the next stages of Operation Protective Edge.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a short statement Thursday evening after a lengthy session of the Security-Diplomacy cabinet, which was devoted to Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

“The campaign is proceeding as planned,” he said, “but additional stages await us. We have struck Hamas and the sons of terror forcefully, and as the campaign wears on, we will deepen the damage to them.”

10:30 EDT:  In an apparent warning of an imminent  Gaza incursion, the IDF on Thursday afternoon contacted by phone, residents of Gaza living near the security border, warning them to evacuate their homes immediately.

The phone calls were sent to a total of roughly 100,000 residents of northern Gaza. Among the cities and towns targeted in the phone warning were Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, and Absan, according to Walla!.

In the phone warning, residents were told to immediately evacuate and go to the west or south, in order to avoid civilian casualties.

07:30 EDT:  Hamas targets secret US military bases in the Negev, fails to score a hit so far. 

Israel now targeting Hamas leadership, kills four commanders so far.

Israel leaflets Gaza telling civilians to leave their homes and retire to safe zones.  A ground invasion seems very close.

05:20 EDT:  Israel has increased the tempo of its attacks with the support of the US, Britain, Germany and France.  This has been met with continuous rocket attacks from Gaza including two separate volleys on Tel Aviv this morning, one of which sent Netanyahu and security officials scurrying for shelter.

The IDF escalated its aerial offensive in Gaza since midnight Thursday, reportedly killing seven members of one family, including five children, in a predawn strike.  A total of 76 Gazans have now been killed in attacks by the IDF.

According to the IDF, it hit some 322 sites in Gaza since midnight this morning [hitting 350 all day yesterday] , destroying some 217 rocket launchers and targeting the homes of over 40 Hamas commanders. According to the military, since the operation began it has struck 785 sites. 

Israeli officials are saying that Hamas wants a successful strike on Israel before declaring a ceasefire so as to be able to claim victory.  If true such a strike producing multiple Israeli casualties will only cause the Israelis to reject such a Hamas declared ceasefire and invade.

July 9

14:45 EDT:  Israel warplanes have so far hit 550 targets in Gaza, and Hamas militants have hit back with 165 rockets, some of which struck Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as far away as Hadera.  

Seven rockets fired at Dimona, miss nuclear reactor.

Gaza report: 51 Palestinians killed, over 450 injured since ‘Operation Protective Edge’ began 

Israeli leaders warned a ground invasion could be imminent. 

IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, has approved all of the plans for an IDF ground offensive into Gaza, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz said Wednesday evening. He added that the pressure on Gaza will grow in the coming hours and the IAF attacks will become even more intense.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held security consultations at IDF Southern Command headquarters in Be’er Sheva Wednesday, along with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman.

 

Following the consultations, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We have decided to further increase the assault on Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza.

 

“Despite the fact it will be hard, complicated and costly, we will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks, to cut off the strengthening of this terror army,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s intelligence minister, told Israel Radio. “If you ask my humble opinion, a significant operation like this is approaching.”

IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz said the military “was preparing the next stage. This offensive will be a long one. Reservists are being called in to replace conscripted soldiers (holding the line). The moment they will be ready, the soldiers will go south to prepare.” 

The reserve call up should be comleted by tomorrow, Then the Israeli regular forces will move south to the Gaza border which may take another day or two.  Then again the forces already deployed on the Gaza border are strong enough to make an initial penetration of the strip.

11:30 EDT:  Egypt offers medical treatment for Gaza wounded but withholds any help in making a ceasefire. 

Five rockets shot down over Tel Aviv

10:00 EDT:   The Sisi Egyptian government which has come out publicly calling for calm, is delighted with the Israeli Gaza Operation; which will allow Egypt to exterminate militants and regain full control over Sinai.  Egypt has quietly closed the Rafah crossing and sealed the border and all escape route from Gaza to their country. 

Israel has cut off he water supply at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza.. This is seen as personally targeting Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, who lives in Shati

The Mt. Carmel town of Zichron Yaakov, only a couple of miles from Haifa was hit by a Hamas rocket Wednesday.One person was injured by shrapnel.

A volley of 10 Grads was aimed at Kirryat Gath. Three were blown up in midair by an Iron Dome battery. The Palestinians are focusing their attacks Wednesday afternoon on the Lachish and Shear Hanegev regions as well as the towns of Ashkelon and Sderot. 

Heavy rocket volleys are taking place at the moment.

In Gaza at least 29 civilians, including five children, were among the 37 Palestinian dead in two days of fighting, and 230 people have been wounded, hospital officials said.  One Israeli was lightly wounded by a piece of shrapnel in his foot yesterday, no Israeli’s have been killed.

07:00 EDT

Israel struck 300 Gaza sites yesterday and another 150 overnight  Gaza militants are now firing rockets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as Israeli military bases and towns throughout the country.  Israel has called up 40-45,000 reserves which should be completed in about two more days. 

Gaza rockets continue unabated.  Israel jamming Gaza TV Radio.

Netanyahu has ordered full preparations for an invasion of Gaza, with the order of execution to be given in the coming days. 

The Western media are minimizing reporting on the situation to give Israel as much time as needed for the operation. 

Aretz Sheva reports:  Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday held an evaluation of Operation Protective Edge with IDF representatives, General Security Services members and others, where he announced the operation is to be expanded.

“We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command,” said Ya’alon.

The minister stressed that the operational activities will continue and expand, and called on Israeli citizens to stay patient as the IDF attacks

“We will continue to hit Hamas and other terror groups in the (Gaza) Strip with heavy blows from the air, from the sea and from the ground so as to ensure the security of Israeli citizens. The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy,” warned Ya’alon.

The IDF struck 160 sites in Gaza on Wednesday morning as part of the operation, and has hit over 440 targets since the operation started on Monday night, including targeted strikes on militant leaders.

The 5,000 fighters of the ISIS are under heavy attack by Syria, Iraq and American CIA drones; and are losing their Sunni allies due to their vicious treatment of the people, and due to intensive American efforts to drive a wedge between the Sunni tribes and the ISIS. 

July 8

18:15 EDT:   Hafez Hamed, a commander in the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, al-Quds Brigades, was killed in an IAF attack in Beit Hanoun on Tuesday night, along with five members of his family. 

The IDF attacked over 270 Gaza sites on Tuesday, at least 23 people were killed and over 100 wounded so far on Tuesday.  120 Rockets struck Israel of which 23 were intercepted..

15:00 EDT:  A heavy rocket barrage has just been fired from northern Gaza at  Binyamina, Pardes Hanna- Karkur, Caesarea, Jerusalem, Or Akiva and central Israel. Sirens also sounding  in Kadima-Tzoran, Ness Ziona, Yavne, Beersheba, Ashdod, the Ashkelon region, Emek Hefer,  the Sharon Region and Beit Shemesh.

Tuesday Israel has struck 200 sites in Gaza most by missiles from ships at sea. 

Jerusalem opens shelters after several rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

The Hamas’ military wing issued a statement detailing its conditions for a ceasefire on Tuesday night.

In a video filmed at a secret location, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades set four conditions for a ceasefire:

 

  1. The end of the Israeli anti Hamas operations on the West Bank and Jerusalem.
  2. The halt of fire on Gaza and the return to the understanding reached after the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.
  3. The release of all Shalit deal prisoners who were arrested again during Operation Brother’s Keeper.
  4. Israel must stop sabotaging the intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

 

14:20 EDT:   Since midnight last night, Gaza militants have fired more than 130 rockets at Israel, while Israel launched 150 airstrikes as part of Operation Protective Edge. 

Militants tried to infiltrate Zikkim Beach Tuesday evening were destroyed by IDF forces. Five armed militants attempted to infiltrate Israel on Tuesday evening when they entered kibbutz Zikim through the sea. IDF troops exchanged fire with the militants and killed all of them. 

Additionally a tunnel under the border fence near Kerem Shalom was exploded by the Gaza defenders, failing to kill any Israeli forces.

12:15 EDT:  Hamas begins rocket fire on Tel Aviv.  Rocket siren alerts in Tel Aviv, Givatayim.  Iron Dome shoots down one rocket over Tel Aviv.  Sirens have been heard in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yad Binyamin, Chafetz Chaim, and Beit Shemesh during the past thirty minutes. Sirens were also sounded in the center of Israel, known as Gush Dan, which includes the Tel-Aviv region and its surrounding cities. 

11:15 EDT:   Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Ramat Gan and Rishon LeZion open public bomb shelters in their cities. The Rishon LeZion beach was also cleared of beach goers as a precaution. 

Gaza wounded for today now tops 80. 

10:00 EDT:  Israel approves call up of 40-45,000 reserves.  The decision to call up reservists was taken at the request of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and is intended to allow reservists to take over part of the duties currently being fulfilled by the regular army, who will then be available for the invasion of Gaza.  These reservists have been trained well in advance to keep the lid on the West Bank during the long planned Gaza Operation.  The call up process usually takes 2-3 days.

Israeli military officials said Tuesday afternoon that they had carried out airstrikes targeting at least 100 sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as part of a new offensive aimed at halting rocket attacks by militants. 

At least six Palestinians were killed and about 25 wounded including children, in an IAF attack Tuesday on a house in the Gaza Strip,  Local residents said the home in Khan Yunis in the northern strip belonged to the Kawara family, at least one of which was a Hamas member, and that the casualties occurred when it came under attack for the second time on Tuesday. 
The homes were hit using what the IDF calls the ‘Knock on the roof’ procedure, in which forces fire a small mortar at the target to indicate the imminent attack and signal those inside to flee before hitting it with full forces. However instead of fleeing, locals gathered on the roof as human shield to try and save the home. 

 

Despite heavy Israeli airstrikes; more than one hundred rockets have been fired from Gaza by midafternoon Tuesday.  At least 11 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured in Israeli air strikes over the Gaza Strip since the start of the Gaza Operation early Tuesday morning. Seven were killed in Khan Younes in the south, along with 30 people injured.

Israel Tuesday morning suspended work at the southern port of Ashdod after the city came under Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Beersheba University is also closed and end-of-year exams postponed. In the north, Israel has closed the Quneitra crossing from Syria.

06:0 EDT: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military to “take off the gloves” in its confrontation with Hamas and said “Hamas chose escalation and it will pay a heavy price for it.”

Senior political sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has ordered the defense establishment to conduct a “continues, long and forceful operation in Gaza.”

According to the source, Netanyahu told the IDF to go “all the way,” saying “even a ground operation was currently on the table.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for his part said “we are prepared for an offensive against Hamas, which will not end in a couple of days.”

Tuesday morning Netanyahu arrived at the IDF headquarters in the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv for a meeting with the defense heads of Israel’s establishment.

Following the high level security deliberations Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to expand the military operation in Gaza, including  preparations for a ground operation.  The process of mobilizing Israeli reserves is now underway, with directives to come within hours from the various authorities.

04:23 EDT:  The IDF has begun a powerful offensive to destroy Hamas’ logistical and strategic infrastructure including assassinations of militant leaders.  The Operation began with 50 airstrikes in the early morning hours and is to culminate in an land invasion of Gaza.   The Operation is billed as long term, with an expectation that the complete annihilation of the Gaza militants could take up to six weeks.

In addition to hitting multiple sites in Gaza the IDF destroyed four homes including that of three Hamas commanders and a Democratic Front operative in Khan Younis. 

Hamas reported 17 injured as they prepared to escalate rocket attacks.

#IDF has commenced Operation Protective Edge in #Gaza against #Hamas, in order to stop the terror #Israel‘s citizens face on a daily basis

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 7, 2014

IDF officials reported overnight that  “the IDF attacked 50 targets in Gaza, three from the sea and the rest from the air.”

After heavy rocket fire continued this morning Netanyahu has ordered an increase in airstrikes.

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