Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 61 Palestinians. Local officials say targets struck include 5 mosques and a soccer stadium, in addition to other Palestinian infrastructure and multiple tunnels. Prolonged Israeli shelling of Khan Yunis kills at least 6 and wounds more than 20. Also, the IDF strikes a UNRWA-run school in c. Gaza. Palestinian fighters kill 2 Israeli soldiers overnight and fire approximately 67 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with 18 projectiles intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. In the West Bank, an Israeli citizen shoots and kills a Palestinian man between al-Ram and Hizma checkpoint n. of Jerusalem, reportedly after the Palestinian man threw stones at the Israeli’s car. IDF troops shoot and injure 5 Palestinians in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, during clashes in an arrest raid. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians in at-Tur, Shu‘fat r.c., and Issawiyya, causing no serious injuries. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22; PCHR 7/23)

After 1 rocket lands nr. Ben Gurion Airport, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) bans flights to and from Israel for at least 24 hours, and the European Aviation Safety Agency advises all carriers to avoid Tel Aviv “until further notice.” Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, in a statement, says “there is no need for U.S. carriers to suspend flights and reward terrorism.” U.S. Secy. of State Kerry and PM Netanyahu later discuss the FAA ban on a phone call. (AFP, AP, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)

At a monthly meeting of the EU Council, the 28 EU FMs issue a statement that “strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip” and also “condemns calls on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.” Meanwhile, Secy. of State Kerry meets with Egypt’s Pres. al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Gaza, and afterward, affirms that “there is a framework available to end the violence, and that framework was the Egyptian initiative.” Senior Fatah official al-Ahmad flies in to Cairo to also meet with Kerry. In Israel, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban meets with PM Netanyahu and at a Tel Aviv press conference, Ban condemns the rocket attacks, while the Israeli leader accuses Hamas of committing a “double war crime” of targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 7/22)