Sunday, November 19, 2017

International community calls for a ceasefire on sixth day of ‘Operation Protective Edge’


By Lil Jackson - July 13, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Operation Protective Edge] [Gaza]

Fire and smoke after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza | Reuters 

 

 

As 'Operation Protective Edge’ extends to a sixth day the death toll has reached 167. Over 1,000 people have been injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. 

 

22 people were killed and 45 injured in the single most deadly attack since the military operation began. Two Israeli bombs targeted a house in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, where the city’s chief of police, Tayseer al-Batsh, was sheltering. 

 

First ground assault in northern Gaza

 

Early Sunday morning Israeli military personnel undertook the first ground assault of 'Operation Protective Edge’. 

 

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told reporters, “A naval commando operation took place on a beach in Gaza this morning with the aim of hitting a long-distance rocket launching site.” The Lieutenant added that the mission was a success, despite four Israeli soldiers being lightly injured.

 

The Israeli military has claimed to have struck over 1,100 targets in Gaza, including Hamas rocket launchers, command centers, weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, in a bid to stop rocket fire coming from Gaza.

 

In a rare move Hamas made public their intention to fire J-80 missiles at Tel Aviv on Saturday evening at 9pm. With this forewarning, Hamas proceeded to fire 10 rockets at Tel Aviv. Hamas have fired over 700 rockets into Israel in the past week.

 

  “Civilians are requested to evacuate”

 

Indicating further escalation in the north of the Strip, the Israeli military dropped leaflets over the town of Beit Lahiya early Sunday morning. The leaflets requested civilians evacuate their homes by 12.00 pm today, stating, “Those who fail to comply with the instructions will endanger their lives and the lives of their families. Beware.”

 

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza have responded by calling on the Strip’s residents to ignore the Israeli warnings, whether by text message or leaflet. The Ministry has reportedly described Israel’s warnings as 'psychological warfare’.

 

Despite this, families have reportedly been fleeing the northern areas of Gaza. 

According to UN officials, 4,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes and sought refuge in UN facilities. 

 

UN calls for the 'restoration of calm’ and the possibility of a cease-fire

 

The UN Security Council released a press statement on Saturday calling for the “de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm and the reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire” between Gaza and Israel. 

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with the foreign ministers of the UK, France and Germany in Vienna on Sunday to discuss the escalating situation in Gaza and the possibility of initiating a ceasefire. 

 

Senior Israeli officials have said of the meeting “if there’s a relevant offer we will examine it”. 

 

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday evening “It is clear we need urgent, concerted international action to secure a ceasefire, as was the case in 2012”.

 

Though diplomatic efforts may be gaining traction, no concrete ceasefire has been offered. 

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