By Aryeh Savir
The IDF has announced that Operation ‘Protective Edge’ has “moved to the next stage, we are redeploying to enable combat against Hamas and continued defense from tunnels.” There are still skirmishes in Gaza, and Hamas is continuing to fire rockets and mortars at Israeli civilian targets, so in that since, nothing has changed.
In one incident, forces operating to uncover shafts identified several terrorists emerging from one, and immediately opened fire at the squad, that attempted to flee to a nearby house. The force fired at the terrorists, and confirmed a hit. The forces moved on to detonate the tunnel’s route. In another incident, a paratrooper unit identified four terrorists preparing to launch an anti-tank missile from a house in the southern Gaza Strip. Armored corps opened fire at the target; the house collapsed, killing four terrorists. Earlier on, Givati Special Forces uncovered more than 150 mortars and a tunnel opening in Rafah, in southern Gaza. The IDF further found motorcycles and weapons in a tunnel inside Israel. Hamas planned to use them to carry out a deadly attack against Israeli civilians and race back into Gaza with hostages. The Islamic Jihad’s northern district commander in the Gaza Strip, Danyal Mansour, was killed in an Israeli strike on a house providing him shelter in the Jabalya refugee camp. This morning, IAF fired a missile at a terror operative riding a motorcycle in Rafah; a direct hit confirmed. Since midnight, The IDF struck some 63 terror targets in Gaza.
In the meantime, Israel is looking for a diplomatic solution that will end the operation in a solid fashion. Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nahla, the group’s number-two, said that the issue of disarming the Gaza Strip has not come up in ceasefire talks in Cairo, and that the demand is in any case unacceptable to Palestinian factions in the Strip, a report in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram stated. Palestinian factions are meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials in an effort to broker a ceasefire to a month of fighting. Israel was set to join the talks multiple times, but in the past week has said that due to Hamas’s violations of multiple ceasefires, Israel would no longer negotiate any agreement with Hamas.
The IDF has authorized a humanitarian window to take place in the Gaza Strip from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM today in all of Gaza, not including in east Rafiah, where heavy fighting continues. However, Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warns that any violation of the truce will be met with immediate retaliation at the source of the fire.
Gaza terrorists fired 119 rockets at Israel. 108 rockets struck Israel. 8 were intercepted by the Iron Dome defensive system. One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome over Tel Aviv, and 3 rockets hit open areas in southern Israel. On Sunday, Palestinian terrorists fired 11 mortars from the vicinity of an UNRWA school in the neighborhood of Zeitoun.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge more than 3,127 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel. In total, 4626 terror targets were attacked throughout Operation ‘Protective Edge’.
Tazpit News Agency