Thursday, July 31, 2014

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, killing 79 Palestinians. In the most deadly incident of the day, an Israeli air strike hits a family home in Nussayrat r.c., killing 11 Palestinians. Armed Palestinian groups fire over 90 projectiles into Israel, with Iron Dome batteries intercepting 17 projectiles. The rocket fire injures 2 Israeli civilians. In the West Bank, armed Palestinians open fire on Israeli settlement Shavei Shomron nr. Nablus, causing no casualties. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and in Tubas at night. Jewish settlers shoot and injure a Palestinian nr. al-Khadir in the Bethlehem region. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/31; PCHR 8/1)

During the day, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest says the shelling of a UN school the previous day is “totally indefensible” and that “it does not appear there is a lot of doubt about whose artillery was involved in this incident.” (AFP, AP, MNA, 7/31)

 In Cairo, a Palestinian delegation including Hamas and Islamic Jihad reps. discuss a ceasefire agreement with Fatah reps. and Egyptian authorities. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, 7/31)

In the evening, U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban release a joint statement announcing a 72-hour cease-fire agreed to by all parties, to begin 8/1 at 8:00 A.M. local time. During that time, negotiators from all sides will discuss a longer-term agreement in Cairo. The IDF intends to continue searching for and destroying tunnels during the truce. Also, they call up a further 16,000 reservists. (AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/31)