Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The IDF launches OPE, a major assault on the Gaza Strip. Israeli air strikes hit 150 targets across Gaza, killing 23 Palestinians and wounding more than 100. One attack in Khan Yunis kills 8 mbrs. of the same family when their home is bombed. Hamas fighters infiltrate Israel by sea nr. Kibbutz Zikim and are all killed, according to the IDF. Al-Qassam Brigades says the operation goes as planned. Palestiniansfire approximately 130 rockets into Israel, with Iron Dome batteries intercepting at least 23 of them. Some rockets reach c. Israel, though most fall in the s. Warning sirens are heard in Tel Aviv, where an Iron Dome battery intercepts 3 rockets. The rockets cause damage to 2 houses, and lightly injure 2 people. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure 3 Palestinians during clashes nr. Qalandia checkpoint, and also shoot and injure 2 Palestinians in clashes in n. Bethlehem. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus, 2 nearby villages, and Balata r.c. at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces detain 31 Palestinians in relation to the recent protests. (AFP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/8; PCHR 7/10)

The Israeli govt. authorizes a call-up of some 40,000 reserve troops, in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Israeli DM Ya’alon says it is likely to be a protracted campaign that will “exact a very heavy price from Hamas.” Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Ubayda says that Israel must cease its offensive and commit to the 2012 cease-fire agreement. PA Pres. Abbas, meanwhile, demands that Israel immediately halt its offensive and asks the international community to intervene to halt the escalation. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, PCHR, REU, YA 7/8)