Friday, August 1, 2014

Soon after the planned 72-hour cease-fire takes effect, it breaks down and the IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 160 Palestinians. Armed Palestinian groups resume rocket fire, launching 38 into Israel. IDF troops are primarily active in Shuja‘iya in e. Gaza City, Bayt Hanun in the n. Gaza Strip, and Khan Yunis in the s. Gaza Strip. The cease-fire breaks down after both sides accuse the other of violating it during an incident in s. Gaza. According to the IDF, 2 hours after the ceasefire began, al-Qassam Brigades fighters attacked IDF troops demolishing a tunnel, killing 2 and capturing 1. The Hamas armed wing denies reports of the capture, saying that the soldier might have been killed in clashes before the cease-fire began. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill 2 Palestinians in separate incidents. The 1st dies in clashes nr. Tulkarm during protests against the assault on Gaza, and the 2d dies in Safa nr. Ramallah in similar circumstances. In the clashes in Safa, 5 are injured by live ammunition and 10 by rubber-coated metal bullets. At Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, IDF troops shoot and injure 6 Palestinians with live ammunition during protests. In Hebron, meanwhile, around 50,000 residents protest the assault on Gaza, leading to clashes with IDF troops in which 90 Palestinians are injured with live fire and rubber-coated metal bullets. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Salfit and al-Jalazun Ramallah at night. 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). In Ni‘lin, 1 is seriously injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet; in Nabi Salih, 2 are seriously injured by rubber-coated metal bullets; and in Kafr Qaddum, 4 are wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces in ongoing demonstrations against the Gaza offensive, causing dozens of injuries. The clashes happen in Shu‘fat r.c., Issawiyya, Silwan, al-Tur, al-Suwana, Abu Dis, al-‘Izzariya, al-Ram, Qalandia, and Anata. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 8/1; PCHR 8/2)

U.S. officials express outrage and disappointment at the breakdown of the ceasefire. U.S. Pres. Obama calls for the release of the soldier that was reported kidnapped and says it will be “very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment.” White House spokesperson Earnest says that the U.S. “would encourage those who have influence with Hamas to get them back on to the terms of the cease-fire and to get them to abide by the agreements that they struck just yesterday.” Meanwhile, Kerry calls Qatari FM Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah and Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu and urges them to use their influence with Hamas to release the soldier. Davutoğlu tells reporters that Turkey would do what it can. Kerry also speaks with PM Netanyahu and Pres. Abbas. Talks planned in Cairo are postponed until further notice. (AFP, AP, Guardian, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 8/1)

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah speaks for the 1st time in public on the Gaza violence and accuses Israel of “state-sponsored terrorism” in a televised speech. (Guardian, HA, MNA, REU 8/1)