Sunday, July 20, 2014

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by air and sea, and intensifies its ground offensive, especially in the Shuja‘iya neighborhood in e. Gaza City, killing 149 Palestinians. Palestinian fighters kill 13 Israeli soldiers and injure 53 others. In the West Bank, IDF troops open fire on Palestinians gathered to demonstrate in Hebron, Ramallah, and the surrounding areas, injuring dozens in Hebron, Qalandia, and Jalazun r.c. The rallies are celebrating the reported capture by Palestinians in Gaza of a live Israeli soldier. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning, and in 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Jenin during the day. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/20; PCHR 7/21)

In Tel Aviv, PM Netanyahu says that the IDF is carrying out “complex, deep, intensive activity” in the Gaza Strip, for which there is “very strong support within the international community.” At the same press conference, DM Ya’alon says that in his “assessment,” the “lion’s share of the tunnels” will be destroyed “in another 2 or 3 days.” In the evening, the UNSC holds an emergency meeting, at the request of Jordan’s reps., and expresses “serious concern about the growing number of casualties.” Mbrs. call “for an immediate cessation of hostilities.” In Doha, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban meets with Qatari emir Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and PA Pres. Abbas. While there, Ban condemns what he calls the “atrocious action” of the IDF in killing “dozens more civilians.” Hamas leader Mish‘al visits Kuwait for talks with the emir, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Arab League. The latter issues a statement describing Israel’s attacks on al-Shuja‘iya as a “war crime.” (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/20)