Friday, July 25, 2014

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, sea, and air, killing 66 Palestinians. Armed Palestinian groups fire more than 80 rockets into Israel, with 16 intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. Palestinian fighters kill 2 Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Across the West Bank, there are large demonstrations against the attack on Gaza in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Salfit, Tulkarm, and other locations. IDF troops kill 7 Palestinians as clashes break out during the protests. In one of the clashes, at Hawara checkpoint, an Israeli settler kills a Palestinian, bringing the day’s total to 8. In addition, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters at weekly demonstrations against Israel’s separation wall, settlements, and occupation in 3 villages nr. Ramallah (Bil‘in, Nabi Salih, and Ni‘lin), and 1 village nr. Qalqilya (Kafr Qaddum). There are no serious injuries, except in Bil‘in, where 1 is injured by a bullet, and Ni‘lin, where 2 are injured by bullets. In addition, Jewish settlers attack 2 Palestinians in Bayt Hanina, seriously injuring 1. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians after worshippers under the age of 50 are banned from entering Haram al-Sharif, injuring around 40. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, YA 7/25; PCHR 7/26)

Meanwhile, in the early afternoon the Israeli cabinet rejects a draft of cease-fire principles proposed by U.S. Secy. of State Kerry, which he based partly on consultations with reps. of Qatar and Turkey. A senior Israeli official reportedly later described the proposal as a “strategic terrorist attack.” Later, Secy. Kerry meets with the UN’s Ban and Arab League Secy.-Gen. al-‘Arabi to discuss the latest developments in Gaza. Kerry also meets with Egyptian FM Shoukri. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, JP 7/25; HA 7/28)

In the evening, the UN, U.S., Egypt, and the Arab League call for an extendable 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire. PM Netanyahu tells Secy. of State Kerry that Israel will observe the humanitarian pause the following day, but the IDF will continue working to locate “terror tunnels.” Hamas spokesperson Abu Zuhri says that al-Qassam Brigades and other factions will observe the humanitarian pause. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, YA 7/25)