Monday, July 7, 2014

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire around 80 rockets into s. Israel, injuring 1 soldier and 1 civilian in separate incidents. Iron Dome batteries intercept 12 of the rockets. An evening barrage of around 40 rockets in an hour is claimed by al-Qassam Brigades, who say it is in revenge for the killing of its fighters the previous day. Separately, an antitank missile is fired at IDF troops on the s. Gaza border, causing no injuries. The IDF strikes targets in n. Gaza, causing damage and injuring 1 child. Off the coast of Khan Yunis, IDF naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, Palestinians throw Molotov cocktails at an IDF base nr. Ramallah, causing no injuries. The IDF patrols in Hebron at night. In Israel, police officers arrest 110 Palestinian citizens across Arab towns and villages (HA, JP, MEMO, MNA, REU, YA 7/7; PCHR 7/10)

Israel’s security cabinet decides to escalate attacks against Hamas and other armed factions in the Gaza Strip, following a 3-hour meeting, and agrees to launch an assault on the Gaza Strip, code-named Operation Protective Edge (OPE). The cabinet orders the army to prepare for a significant expansion of operations. Also, FM Lieberman announces that the official partnership between his party, Yisrael Beytenu, and Likud is over, but his party will remain in the coalition. Lieberman says the move is not meant as an attack on Netanyahu but a reflection of their genuine differences. Meanwhile, State Dept. spokesperson Psaki tells reporters that the U.S. supports Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, and urges restraint against escalation of the conflict. (HA, JP, MNA 7/7)

A mortar shell is fired from inside Syrian territory into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. IDF troops respond by shooting at suspicious targets on the Syrian side. (AP, JP 7/7)