Monday, August 4, 2014

The IDF continues its assault on the Gaza Strip by air, land, and sea, killing 64 Palestinians with strikes on approximately 100 targets. Attacks occur before and after a humanitarian cease-fire running from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. local time. The cease-fire is not observed in areas of Rafah where IDF ground troops are targeting and destroying tunnels. Armed Palestinian groups fire rockets over Ashdod and Ashqelon, causing no injuries. Other rockets land nr. the Gaza border, also causing no injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian nr. Tulkarm. The IDF patrols during the day in 2 villages nr. Jericho and al-Bireh. In East Jerusalem, a Palestinian man kills an Israeli when he drives an excavator into pedestrians on the sidewalk. Israeli police shoot and kill the driver on the spot and later describe the incident as a “terrorist attack.” In a separate incident, armed Palestinians open fire on an Israeli soldier nr. Hebrew University, injuring him. In Issawiyya, dozens of Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces, causing no serious injuries. At Haram al-Sharif, Israeli security forces enter to escort right-wing Jewish activists out of the area. Clashes break out with Palestinian worshippers, 10 of whom are injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, MNA, REU, YA 8/4; PCHR 8/5)

In Cairo, reps. of Israel and Hamas agree to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire to begin on 8/5 at 8:00 A.M. local time, with Egyptian officials urging reps. of all sides to attend further talks to negotiate a longer term cease-fire. Reps. of Hamas and Islamic Jihad meet with Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss a plan to end the violence. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, REU 8/4)

U.S. Pres. Obama signs into law a joint res. appropriating $225 m. in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The Senate and House previously passed this res. on 8/1 in 2 of the final actions taken before the 2 chambers adjourned for a 1-mo. recess in 8/2014. (AP 8/4; REU 8/5)