Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Friday bloodiest yet in ‘Operation Protective Edge,‘ ground invasion continues as Secretary General Ban Ki Moon lands in Israel


By Lil Jackson - July 19, 2014
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Explosions in the Gaza Strip. | Photo courtesy of Haaretz.

 

 

'Operation Protective Edge’ had its deadliest day on Friday with 52 people killed. The Gaza Health Ministry has reported the death count has now reached 333, including 71 children, 24 women, 18 senior citizens and 97 members of 24 Gazan families. 34 were killed today.

 

According to Al Jazeera’s live blog, as of 11:30 GMT on Saturday, Israeli shelling tanks and artillery killed 34 Palestinians. 

 

Three Israelis and one Palestinian Bedouin with Israeli citizenship have been killed since the outset of the operation. 

 

32-year-old Ouda Lafi al-Waj was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit his home in a Bedouin community near Dimona.

 

20-year-old Sargent Adar Barsano, a sergeant in the Israeli military, and 45-year-old Major Amotz Greenberg were killed on Saturday morning when Israeli soldiers clashed with members of Hamas attempting to enter Israel through a tunnel to southern Israel, according to theJerusalem Post.

 

Hamas tunnels pose threat to Israel

 

The aim of 'Operation Protective Edge’ is to "target Hamas' tunnels that enable terrorists to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks,” said the official Israeli statement about the ground offensive, according to the Guardian.

 

A senior IDF officer told Haaretz that 13 tunnels have been discovered since the beginning of Israel’s ground invasion on Thursday evening. 

 

“Some of the tunnels branch out extensively and all of them extend beyond the [border] fence. We are now exposing the path of the tunnels, ahead of their demolition," said the officer.

 

“We prefer to die at home”

 

Residents of al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza received text messages from the Israeli military on Saturday morning. The message told them to evacuate to Deir al-Balah, which lies west of the Salah al-Din Road, Gaza’s main north to south motorway.

 

UNRWA schools in al Bureij camp are filled to capacity with refugees following earlier evacuations of the northern Gaza Strip. According the UN, 47,000 Gazans have fled their homes and have sought shelter in 43 UN buildings. 

 

Many people from al Bureij camp are hesitant to evacuate. 

 

"In Deir al-Balah they bombed a civilian car and its passengers were killed…There is no place that is safe. If we're forced to choose whether to die as we flee or die at home – we prefer to die at home," a resident of al Bureij camp told Haaretz.

 

We call on all parties to immediately agree to a ceasefire”

 

A Qatari newspaper, al Arabi al Jadeed, unveiled a ceasefire proposed by Qatar and Turkey on Saturday, according to Al Jazeera. 

 

The proposal sets out Hamas’ terms for a truce and requests that the United States “act as guarantor to ensure the agreement is implemented according to a defined timetable, to safeguard the truce and to ensure there are no failures in the implementation of the agreement. If either side has reservations, it will turn to the United States”

 

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss Israel’s ongoing 'Operation Protective Edge’ in Gaza. 

 

During the meeting it was announced that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is to visit Israel Saturday. 

 

On Friday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton published a declaration on the Gaza crisis on the EU’s behalf. 

 

The declaration stated, “We call on all parties to immediately agree to a ceasefire. We underline the obligation to allow full and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance. …We condemn the continued firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel by Hamas and other militant groups and the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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