Saturday, January 16, 2021

Fighting in Gaza continues as ceasefire attempts fail; Palestinian death toll surpasses 1,000

July 27, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

Coffins representing civilians  killed in Operation Protective Edge at a demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank | Haley Paladino


Israel has rejected a Hamas and UN offer for a 24-hour ceasefire that would have lasted until 2 p.m. on Monday in the latest round of attempts to break down the hostilities, Haaretz reported.


Hamas and other Palestinian factions proposed the ceasefire ahead of the three-day Muslim feast Eid al-Fitr, which ends the holy month Ramadan and is supposed to start on Monday.


An official Israeli military Twitter account claimed at least six rockets had been fired from Gaza after the Hamas-declared ceasefire was meant to start. Haaretz reported five rockets and one mortar shell after around 4 p.m.


Earlier today, the Israeli military resumed its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip breaking the unilateral ceasefire it declared at 8 a.m. on Saturday. At least 20 rockets were fired from Gaza overnight. Six Palestinians have died after the renewed shelling.


On Saturday night, the Israeli security cabinet accepted a UN request that would have extended a humanitarian ceasefire until Sunday midnight, adding that its forces would continue destroying tunnels leading to the enclave, Haaretz reported.


Hamas rejected an Israeli-offered ceasefire, as it did not contain the complete withdrawal of the Israeli troops nor a deal for the residents to return to their homes. The possibility to freely evacuate the injured was not included either, according to Al Jazeera.


The Health ministry in Gaza said search and rescue teams had been prevented from entering the Khuzaa neighborhood in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, although the area has been badly hit in Israeli bombings, Ma’an News reported.


Other Palestinian militant factions, such as Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Islamic Jihad, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Resistance Committees, also released statements rejecting the Israeli-proposed ceasefire.


The fragile cessation of fighting on Saturday allowed civilians and medics in Gaza to dig dead under the rubble of destroyed houses, bury relatives and stock food.


At least 1,058 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed as the “Operation Defensive Edge” enters its 20th day. More than 6,000 have been injured.


One Israeli soldier was killed by mortar shell on Sunday morning, bringing the death toll of Israeli military forces to 43. Two Israeli civilians and one Thai workerhave also died during the conflict.


Thousands protest in Tel Aviv against the Israeli operation


International efforts to resolve the conflict have failed so far. On Saturday, foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany, Qatar, and Turkey gathered for talks hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris. The group appealed for both parties of the conflict to extend the 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire, according to France24.


Representatives of Palestinian Authority, Israel, or Egypt were not present at the negotiations.


At least 4,000 people protested against the Israeli offensive on Gaza in Paris yesterday, despite the police ban on the gathering. The demonstration led to clashes between the police and some of the protestors, according to France24.


About 7,000 people called for the end of Operation Protective Edge at the biggest anti-war demonstration so far in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, according to Haaretz. A smaller group gathered to back up the Israeli operation.


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