Operation Protective Edge
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|Martin Barillas||August 2nd 2014|
Cutting Edge Contributor
5:05 PM ET August 2, 2014. The IAF struck 4 terrorists in southern Gaza Strip. Rocket sirens resume on the frontier. 84 rockets and mortar rounds were fired into Israel. Six were intercepted by Iron Dome. A civilian was wounded in Eshkol.
5:00 PM ET August 2, 2014. Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid thanked SecState Kerry and the U.S. Senate for providing $225 million in emergency funding for Iron Dome. He said Israel deeply values strategic partnership with the U.S. Kerry said the U.S. will do everything in its power to help Israel track the missing Israeli officer.
Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the Obama administration as "terrific" in its support of Israel. Netanyahu also hailed SecState Kerry for his "untiring efforts," and President Obama for statements condemning Hamas. He also thanked the U.S. for the "tremendous support" and its agreement to fund the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Netanyahu characterized as "incorrect" those media reports that he had chastised the American ambassador to Israel. Netanyahu said he carefully weighs all risks and dangers before deciding on military operations. "I'm committed to protect soldiers and civilians." Hamas will pay "an intolerable price" if it continues to launch rockets against Israel, he said. Netanyahu said that Israel will ensure security on all of its borders. He said that he was committed to finding "a long-term solution" that would restore calm to Israel's frontier communities. -- Jerusalem Post.4:54 PM ET August 2, 2014. Israeli army is expected to conclude within 24 hours the destruction of the terror tunnel network and form defensive lines within the Gaza Strip, up to three kilometers deep, while narrowing down troop numbers in Gaza and returning them to Israeli territory. Israel will not be sending a delegation to Egypt to pursue negotiations over a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. The IDF will continue destroying the tunnels and that "decisions will be made" as to how the operation shall continue, but that the general plan is to seek a unilateral end to the offensive. An official said, "No more talks of ceasefires," adding, "Israel will act according to its best interests." He said "it is now clear to everyone that Hamas does not want a ceasefire, so there is no point in pursuing a diplomatic track."
The 26th day of Protective Edge began with a salvo of rockets over central Israel. Today 44 Palestinian killed in the Gaza Strip in Israeli strikes. The IDF struck 200 terrorist targets in the Gaza over the past 24 hours, including tunnels, weapons manufacturing and storage facilities in addition to Hamas command and control centers. Targets included a militry facility located inside the Islamic University as well as training facilities located within a number of mosques. Also today, the IAF bombed a rocket launcher used to fire missiles on Tel Aviv.
A 3-day ceasefire fell through on August 1 when Hamas fired rockets into Israel. Israel responded with bombardment. IDF Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, was reportedly kidnapped. And Israel subsequently announced an end to the truce. Hamas has denied about Hadar's whereabouts, accusing Israel of breaching the agreement. According to Hamas, the officer is presumed dead. "We have lost touch with one of our squads fighting in the vicinity," the statement said, "it is possible they, together with the soldier, were killed." -- i24News and Jerusalem Post.
7:50 AM ET August 2, 2014. Following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli premier Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Hamas on Israel. Sources say that in conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including SecState Kerry, the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration "not to ever second guess me again" on the matter. The sources also said Netanyahu said he should be "trusted" on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks. Yesterday, the Obama administration condemned "outrageous" violations of the cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a "barbaric" action. This came while Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply.
An IDF soldier was moderately wounded by sniper fire in the northern Gaza Strip. Four rockets fall in open areas of Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council causing no injury or damage. Rocket alert sirens sounds in the Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Sha'ar Hanegev regional councils. According to the IDF, approximately 800 militants have been killed during Operation Protective Edge. Overnight, the IDF attacked 200 Hamas targets, most of them command and control centers. Some 4,500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets have been destroyed in Gaza since the start of the Gaza war. "We have seen far less friction on the ground overnight," the source said. One Palestinian attack on the IDF in Gaza came in the form of an anti-tank missile fired at the Armored Corps in Shejaia, northeast Gaza. Additionally, seven soldiers were lightly injured in a mortar attack in northern Gaza. Also, the IDF has destroyed four tunnels in recent hours, and is "very close to completing the process of destroying the tunnels," and should be completed soon, said an IDF source. Meanwhile, Iron Dome intercepted a rocket over Beersheba. -- Yahoo, Jerusalem Post, i24News, and wires.