The IDF operation in the Gaza Strip continues (IDF Spokesman, July 21, 2014)
The IDF operation in the Gaza Strip continues (IDF Spokesman, July 21, 2014)
Notice of the firing of Sagger missiles (Saraya.ps, date, 2014).
The house in Yehud hit by a rocket (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, July 22, 2014)
Terrorists use ambulances for transportation (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Khaled Mashaal (Wafa.ps, July 21, 2014).
1. The fighting between the IDF and Hamas and the other terrorist organizations continues in various locations in the Gaza Strip, especially the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City. The IDF continues exposing and blowing up tunnels used for terrorist purposes, some of them extending into Israeli territory (so far 45 shafts and between 14 and 16 complete tunnels have been exposed). The terrorist organizations have fired anti-tank rockets, detonate IEDs and fire mortar shells to cause the IDF forces as many losses as possible as a foundation for their myth of "victory."
2. Hamas is also trying to infiltrate terrorist squads into Israel through the terrorist tunnels to carry out mass-killing attacks and abductions. One prominent attempt was the infiltration of a large group of terrorist operatives dressed in IDF uniforms. They emerged from a tunnel in the region of Kibbutz Nir Am in the western Negev (on the morning of July 21, 2014). The terrorists clashed with an IDF force, killing four IDF officers and soldiers. Nine terrorist operatives were killed (two apparently managed to return to the Gaza Strip).
3. In Cairo, activity continues to reach a ceasefire based on the Egyptian initiative. American Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon arrived in Cairo providing diplomatic support for the Egyptian initiative. Hamas still rejects an immediate, unconditional ceasefire, adhering to its original demands, central to which are the opening of the Rafah crossing and the release of prisoners held by Israel.
The Ground Operation
4. During the pat 24 hours the IDF's ground operation in the Gaza Strip continued. Since it began, according to the IDF Spokesman, as of the morning of July 21, 2014 more than 100 terrorist operatives had been killed, and many had been detained and interrogated (See below).
The Fighting in Shejaiya
5. During the past 24 hours the ground operation focused on the region of Shejaiya, a center of the terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. During the IDF activity to locate terrorist facilities and operatives there have been continual confrontations with terrorist operatives deployed in the Shejaiya neighborhood.
6. So far, during the ground operation the IDF has exposed 45 tunnel shafts and between 14 and 16 terrorist tunnels, some of the originating from within mosques. During the past 24 hours IDF forces prevented an attack from terrorist operatives who used the tunnels to attack IDF forces (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014):
1) On the evening of July 21, 2014, two terrorist operatives emerged from a tunnel in the neighborhoods of Al-Atatra and Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. An IDF force attacked them. Ten terrorist operatives emerged from a tunnel shaft in a mosque. An IDF force shot and killed them. Other operatives who emerged from a tunnel shaft located in a house were also killed.
2) On the afternoon of July 21, 2014, the IDF exposed two tunnel shafts in the region of Shejaiya which were intended for terrorist attacks inside Israel. There was an exchange of fire during which two terrorist operatives were killed.
3) On July 21, 2014, three terrorist operatives emerged from a tunnel in the Rafah region. One of them was killed.
Left: Tunnel access point under a shed which was blown up by the IDF. Right: A tunnel shaft (IDF Spokesman, July 21, 2014)
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn2Vee_N8SM for video.
7. The Jerusalem Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), issued a statement on July 21, 2014, claiming to have fired Sagger anti-tank portable missiles at IDF forces. According to the claim, one attacked an IDF force in the Al-Bureij refugee camp and another at an IDF force east of Jabaliya. The statement also claimed in both cases the forces had been hit (Saraya.ps, July 21, 2014).
Terrorist Infiltration into Israeli Territory – Update
8. Four IDF officers and soldiers were shot to death by terrorists during a terrorist infiltration via a tunnel in the region of Kibbutz Nir Am in the western Negev on July 21, 2014. The IDF investigation revealed that the terrorist operatives wore IDF uniforms, making it difficult for the soldiers to identify them. The commanders on the ground thought they were IDF soldiers and only when they saw them carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles did they realize they were terrorist operatives. Apparently the operatives planned to carry out an attack in one or more Israeli villages in the area and possibly to abduct civilians. Searches conducted after the event revealed the bodies of nine terrorists (Haaretz.co.il, July 22, 2014). Two operatives managed to return to the Gaza Strip.
9. Major General Sammy Turgeman, commander of the Southern Command, said that the day before the infiltration the IDF had attacked the area of the tunnel in Beit Hanoun. He said that after the attack Hamas had apparently decided to carry out a terrorist attack before the tunnel was destroyed. He added that the IDF's incursion into the Gaza Strip and its destruction of the tunnel system angered Hamas because the movement had invested a great deal in constructing them (IDF Spokesman, July 21, 2014).
10. Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. It issued a statement claiming it had been carried out by an "elite unit" of 12 fighters divided into two groups. Two fighters, according to the statement, returned to the Gaza Strip after a fierce battle with the IDF (Qassam.ps, July 21, 2014).
Attacks on Terrorist Targets in the Gaza Strip Continue
11. In addition to the ground operation, the IDF continued attacking terrorist targets from the air. So far, more than 2,887 terrorist targets have been attacked in the Gaza Strip. Since the ground operation began, more than1,032 terrorist targets have been attacked from the air (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014).
Palestinian Documentation of Attacks on Buildings in the Gaza Strip
A video posted on YouTube on July 21, 2014 documented an attack on an eight-story building belonging to the Dughmush clan in Gaza City (some Dughmush clan members are terrorist operatives). The video showed the residents leaving before the attack, having enough time to document it. Note: The circle indicates the rocket fired at the house (YouTube, July 21, 2014)
12. Twenty-seven IDF soldiers have been killed in Operation Protective Edge. One soldier was reported missing in action, Sergeant Oron Shaul, who was in an APC in Shejaiya. The names of the soldiers released for publication were the following (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014):
1) Lieutenant Colonel Dolev Keidar, 38, from Modi'in. Commander of the Geffen Battalion, killed by an anti-tank missile fired at the force responding to a terrorist infiltration at Kibbutz Nir Am.
2) Staff Sergeant Tal Yifrach, 21, from Rishon Letzion. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in battle in Gaza.
3) Staff Sergeant Yuval Dagan, 22, from Kfar Saba. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in battle in Gaza.
4) Sergeant Nadav Goldmacher, 23, from Beersheba. Combat soldier in a training camp. Killed by an anti-tank missile fired at the force responding to a terrorist infiltration at Kibbutz Nir Am.
5) Sergeant Major Bayhesain Kshaun, 39, from Netivot. Killed by an anti-tank missile fired at the force responding to a terrorist infiltration at Kibbutz Nir Am.
6) Second Lieutenant Yuval Haiman, 21, from Efrat. Combat soldier in a training camp. Killed by an anti-tank missile fired at the force responding to a terrorist infiltration at Kibbutz Nir Am.
7) Staff Sergeant Jordan Bensemhoun, 22, from Ashqelon. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed by direct fire.
8) Sergeant First Class Oded Ben Sira, 22, from Nir Etzion. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed by sniper fire.
9) Staff Sergeant Max Steinberg, 24, from Beersheba. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
10) Staff Sergeant Shachar Tase, 20, from Pardesiya. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
11) Staff Sergeant Daniel Pomerantz, 22, from Kfar Azar. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
12) Sergeant Sean Mondshine, 19, from Tel Aviv. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
13) Sergeant Ben Itzhak Oanounou, 19, Ashdod. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
14) Staff Sergeant Oren Simcha Noach, 22, from Hoshaya, Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Killed in Shejaiya when his APC took a direct hit on the first day of the ground operation.
15) Master Sergeant Ohad Shemesh, 27, from Beit Elazari. Killed in combat in the Gaza Strip.
13. Several scores of soldiers were wounded in the ground operation, some of them critically. They were evacuated to hospitals in the center of Israel.
Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory
14. Even after the ground operation began, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have continued to attack Israel with heavy rocket and mortar shell fire. Since the beginning of the operation approximately 1,770 rockets have fallen in Israeli territory. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted about 400 of them. Since the beginning of the ground operation more than 460 rocket hits have been identified in Israeli territory. On July 21, 2014, 115 rocket hits were identified. Most of the rocket fire has targeted the population centers in the western Negev, although several barrages were also fired at the center of Israel.
15. The main attacks were the following:
1) On the morning of July 22, 2014, a barrage of rockets was launched at the greater Tel Aviv area and the coastal plain. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted one rocket. A rocket fell in the center of a residential area in the town of Yehud (in the center of Israel), causing considerable damage to property. There were no casualties. Shortly beforehand a heavy barrage of rockets was launched at Ashdod. The Iron Dome intercepted seven of them. One of them exploded near a school. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. Before dawn a barrage of rockets was launched at Beersheba.
2) On the evening of July 21, 2014, a barrage of rockets was launched at Petah Tikva and other population centers in the center of Israel. One rocket exploded in an open area near the city of Rosh Haayin. An hour later a barrage of rockets was fired at Beersheba. Seven rockets exploded in the city. Barrages of rockets were also fired at Ashdod and Gan Yavne. Two rockets exploded in Ashdod. There were no casualties.
3) On the morning of July 21, 2014 a rocket exploded in Ashqelon. A building and cars were damaged. Previously, a rocket that had not been intercepted and carried a warhead with 30 kilograms (or 66 pounds) of explosives penetrated the apartment of a father and his three children. The rocket did not explode and demolitions experts removed it.
Daily Distribution of Rocket Fire from the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge
16. The military-terrorist wings of Hamas and the PIJ claimed responsibility for most of the rocket fire into Israeli territory and targeting IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip.
The Use Made of Civilian Facilities by Hamas and the Other Terrorist Organizations
The Use of Schools in the Gaza Strip
17. On July 21, 2014, an IDF force identified three Grad rocket launchers positioned in the yard of an agricultural school in Beit Hanoun (northern Gaza Strip). Some of the launchers had rockets ready for firing (IDF Spokesman, July 21, 2014).
18. Hamas' ministry of the interior denied the UNRWA report about its workers finding weapons hidden in one of the agency's schools. According to the ministry's (false) claim, the event had been "fabricated" to justify the harm done and provide a cover for the "crimes" Israel committed in the Gaza Strip. The ministry claimed that all UNRWA's schools were guarded by the agency and that there was no possibility of introducing weapons without the knowledge of the school guards. In addition, according to the ministry's announcement, Hamas did to need to use schools to store weapons (Al-Ra'i, July 20, 2014).
Left: The announcement issued by the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip denying the UNRWA report. Right: One of the rocket launchers found in the schoolyard in Beit Hanoun.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u57yxd753f8&feature=youtube_gdata_player for the video.
The Use of Ambulances
19. During the IDF activity in the Gaza Strip an IDF force identified two Palestinian terrorist operatives using ambulances on a daily basis to move through the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014).
Terrorists use ambulances for transportation (IDF Spokesman, July 22, 2014).
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O114V9PdmM for the video.
The Gazan Population
20. According to ITIC information,610 Gazans have been killed since the beginning of the operation (as of noon, July 22). In ITIC assessment, there are scores of bodies of terrorist operatives killed in clashes with IDF forces in various combat areas that have not been included in the statistics. That is because their bodies have not yet been evacuated and Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are not aware of their deaths.
21. The distribution (not final, as of July 21, 2014) of the 610 Palestinians killed is as follows:
1) 172 terrorist operatives:
A. 94 Hamas operatives
B. 54 PIJ operatives
C. 24 operativesfrom other terrorist organizations
2) 230 non-involved Palestinians
3) 208 Palestinianswhose identity is not yet known
22. Since Operation Protective Edge's ground operation began more than 358 Palestinians have been killed, according to the following distribution:
1) More than 72 terrorist operatives(as noted, scores of operatives are not included in the statistics because their bodies have not yet been evacuated).
2) 129 non-involved Palestinians.
3) 157 Palestinianswhose affiliation and degree of involvement are unknown.
23. A UN report issued during the past 24 hours indicated a difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. According to the report, among the difficulties are problems with providing water and electricity, a lack of medical equipment and medicine, and a poor sanitation situation. According to the report,more than 100,000 Palestinians have been displaced from their houses and the agency needs $60 million to be able to continue functioning (Ochaopt.org, July 21, 2014).
24. According to UNRWA, as of July 21, 2014, 84,843 displaced persons from the Gaza Strip were housed in 67 emergency shelters set up by the agency. The movement of civilians to the shelters is expected to continue (UNRWA.org, July 21, 2014). UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said that a humanitarian convoy had set out from Dubai. He said it consisted of 115 tons of equipment including mattresses, blankets and hygiene kits for the residents of the Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, July 21, 2014). The Palestinian government voted to allot 25 million shekels (about $7,300,000) in aid for the Gaza Strip and 10 million (about $2,900,000) for Gazans who had vacated their houses (Wafa.ps, July 21, 2014).
The Crossings – Update
The Erez Crossing
25. A field hospital authorized by the Israeli government has opened at the Erez crossing. It has ten beds, an emergency room, a dispensary, examination rooms for women and children and an X-ray unit. The hospital can provide ambulatory care and medicines for dozens of patients (Cogat.idf.il, July 21, 2014).
The Kerem Shalom Crossing
26. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 721 trucks carrying food, medicine and medical equipment have been delivered to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant, gasoline and cooking gas have also been delivered (Cogat.idf.il, July 21, 2014).
The Rafah Crossing
27. According to Jamal al-Shubaki, Palestinian Authority (PA) representative in Egypt, the Rafah crossing is supposed to open on July 22, 2014 to allow for the passage of wounded Palestinians and holders of foreign passports (Wafa.ps, July 21, 2014). At a joint press conference held with UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, Sameh Shukri, the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs, said that during the present crisis the crossing had been opened to allow wounded Palestinians to receive medical care in Egyptian hospitals. He said the crossing performed its function and would remain open. In addition, humanitarian aid would enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing and Egypt would spare no effort to support the Gaza Strip (Al-Arabiya TV, July 21, 2014).
Judea and Samaria
28. On the night of July 21, 2014 a 25 year-old Israeli man was shot and critically wounded in a drive-by shooting at the Rehalim junction (near Ariel). He had been waiting for a ride when several shot were fired at him from a passing car, wounding him in the back, arm and leg. He was evacuated to a hospital. The IDF searched the area.
29. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, claimed responsibility for shooting at an Israeli vehicle on the bypass road south of Rehalim, near Nablus, on July 22, 2014 (Shasha website, July 22, 2014).
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Calls for an Intifada
30. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, issued an announcement claiming its members were fully prepared and that it was renewing attacks at all the points of friction with IDF forces. The military-terrorist wing claimed it would "send shock waves" through the "Zionist entity" in Judea and Samaria and promised an intifada the likes of which Israel had never seen. They asked all the [terrorist] organizations to unite under the principle of weapons and "resistance" to release the [Palestinian terrorist operative] prisoners and avenge the blood of the shaheeds (Maannews.net, July 21, 2014). The reliability of the announcement is unclear.
Contacts for a Ceasefire
31. Contacts continue in Cairo to reach a ceasefire based on the Egyptian initiative. American Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon have already arrived in Cairo. Hamas still rejects an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and refuses to give up its original demands.
32. Sameh Shukri, the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs, said Egypt had had contacts with senior Hamas figures before it presented its initiative. He said the sovereignty of the Rafah crossing was not something Egypt was prepared to discuss. A spokesman for the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs said that the current crisis could not be resolved without Egypt (Alhayat.com, July 21, 2014).
33. To promote contacts for a ceasefire Mahmoud Abbas met in Qatar with Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau (Wafa.ps, July 21, 2014). According to official Palestinian sources, progress was made in the efforts to reach a ceasefire (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, July 21, 2014). Izzat al-Rishq, a senior Hamas figure who attended the meeting, denied the reports, claiming that during the meeting Hamas had emphasized its rejection of the Egyptian initiative (Al-Arabiya TV, July 21, 2014).
34. In a statement issued by the Palestinian Legislative Council's information bureau, Ismail Haniya, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said that Hamas' conditions were the minimum for any ceasefire and that Hamas would not agree to anything less (Al-Ra'i, July 21, 2014). Haniya gave a speech in which he reiterated Hamas' preconditions for a ceasefire: the end of Israel's "aggression," lifting the siege of the Gaza Strip including the opening of the crossings, and the release of the Palestinians detained during Operation Brothers' Keeper (Al-Aqsa TV, July 21, 2014).
35. Ramadan Shallah, PIJ secretary general, said that his organization demanded the same conditions for a ceasefire as Hamas, but added that the Egyptian initiative had to be "developed." As to the Rafah crossing, he said it was a sensitive issue linked to relations among the PA, Hamas and Egypt. He said the issue presented a great obstacle to reaching a ceasefire (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, July 21, 2014).
For further information about the military-terrorist use the terrorist organizations make of mosques, see the July 14, 2014 bulletin "The use of mosques in the Gaza Strip for military purposes by Hamas and other terrorist organizations: the case of the Al-Farouq Mosque."
The graph indicates rocket hits in Israeli territory and does to include the massive mortar shell fire into the western Negev or rocket launches that failed.
For further information about Hamas' use of school, see the July 20, 2014 bulletin " Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip use schools for military-terrorist purposes: The case of rockets found hidden in an UNRWA school during Operation Protective Edge."