The IDF activity in the Gaza Strip continues: an IDF soldier exposes concealed rockets ready for firing (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
The silhouette of Muhammad Deif as he made his speech (Al-Aqsa TV, July 29, 2014).
The map found in the pocket of a terrorist operative (Facebook page of Alon Ben-David, July 29, 2014).
Tunnel shaft (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
The Al-Susi mosque in the Shati refugee camp in the western part of Gaza City after it was attacked (Facebook page of the Palestinian Communications Center, July 30, 2014).
Sacks of building materials found by the IDF. They were used for constructing tunnels (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
A burning fuel tank of the Gaza Strip's power plant (Ghaza al-A'an, July 29, 2014).
1. The existing format of Operation Protective Edge continues. The IDF continues attacking terrorist targets from the air and on the ground the forces expose and destroy tunnels used for terrorist purposes. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations continue clashing with IDF forces and fire rockets into Israeli territory (approximately 50 rocket hits on July 29, 2014).
2. The Palestinian media reported that Mahmoud Abbas was trying to form an official Palestinian delegation in the name of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the PLO with representatives from all the organizations, to hold the talks in Cairo. So far, the delegation has not set out. While Mahmoud Abbas declared it was necessary to adhere to the Egyptian initiative, Musa Abu Marzouq, the Hamas representative to the talks, demanded that changes be made in the initiative, claiming that only then would Hamas accept Egypt as a mediator.
The Ground Operation
3. On July 29, 2014, the ground operation continued. In the early afternoon the residents of Khan Yunis were asked to leave their houses. The appeal was made by means of dropping leaflets dropped by IDF planes and recorded telephone calls. IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Motti Almoz said the IDF had conducted intensive activities throughout the day, killing many terrorist operatives. He said the operation currently had two focuses: air attacks, and the exposure and destruction of the tunnels. He said that during the day large quantities of weapons had been seized and tunnels had been destroyed. He added that Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft had attacked about 200 terrorist targets during the past 24 hours (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014).
4. Muhammad Deif, head of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, made a rare media appearance praising the determination of the resistance fighters threatening that the fighting was "complex and serious," much more than Israel imagined. He said the IDF was facing united organizations "whose operatives sought to die to the same degree IDF fighters desired not to die." He claimed that there would be no ceasefire and the rocket fire into Israel would not end until Israeli aggression ended and the siege of the Gaza Strip was lifted. He claimed that there would be no compromises in the matter (Al-Aqsa TV, July 29, 2014). During his speech rockets were fired at the greater Tel Aviv area and at Ashdod, to magnify the impact of his announcement.
IDF Activity on July 29, 2014
5. On July 29, 2014 the IDF's ground operation in the Gaza Strip continued. The main incidents of the past 24 hours were the following (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014):
1) An armored force exposed weapons inside a mosque, including a Kornet anti-tank missile ready for firing, an IED, a walkie-talkie and maps.
2) An IDF force identified five terrorist operatives emerging from a tunnel shaft. The force shot and killed them.
3) An IDF force exposed a cache of weapons, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle, machine guns and IEDs.
4) An IDF force exposed a tunnel shaftin which were a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a stock of hand grenades.
6. A map was found in the pocket of a senior Hamas terrorist operative showing areas of Hamas activity. It showed points of access to the tunnels and concealed rocket launchers located inside populated areas (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014).
Exposure and Destruction of Terrorist Tunnels
7. During the past 24 hours IDF forces destroyed three terrorist attack tunnels:
1) On the morning of July 29, 2014, an attack tunnel leading into Israeli territory was destroyed. It had a shaft opening on the Israeli side of the security fence at a distance of about 2 kilometers, or about 1.25 miles, from the village of Be'eri. The main tunnel had eight shafts and at least two branches which had been exposed at the beginning of the ground operation. The main shaft was near a mosque and in it were uniforms and military equipment. Inside the tunnel were weapons and engineering equipment.
2) On July 29, 2014, an IDF force exposed a tunnel shaft with weapons including a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a cache of hand grenades.
A tunnel leading into Israeli territory and destroyed by an IDF force (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTN0ROUsFYo for the video.
Air Attacks on Terrorist Targets Continue
8. In addition to the ground operation, the IDF continued attacking terrorist targets from the air. So far, more than 3,700 terrorist targets have been attacked in the Gaza Strip.
9. On July 29, 2014, IAF aircraft attacked more than 190 terrorist targets. On the night of July 29, 2014, IAF aircraft attacked 80 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian media reported that Ahmed Najam, head of Rafah battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) military-terrorist wing, was killed in an Israeli attack. The PIJ's radio station denied the claim, calling the notice of his death a tactical ploy meant to enable him to move to a safe location (Sawt al-Quds, July 29, 2014).
10. The IAF attacked the location from which mortar shells were fired at an IDF armored force. In addition, a number of buildings in the northern Gaza Strip used for terrorist purposes and weapons storehouses were attacked (IDF Spokesman, July 30, 2014).
IDF and Civilian Losses
11. Fifty-three IDF soldiers and three civilians have been killed in Operation Protective Edge. In addition, 365 soldiers have been wounded, 42 critically, 103 seriously and 220 sustained minor injuries. Seventy-nine civilians have been wounded, six critically, four seriously and 69 sustained minor injuries.
Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory
12. Since the beginning of the operation approximately 2,275 rockets have hit Israeli territory. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than 500.
13. On July 29, 2014, 50 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory. Most of them targeted the south of Israel. In the evening a number of rockets were fired at the coastal plain, the greater Tel Aviv area and the Jerusalem area. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted the rockets. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.
Daily Distribution of Rocket Fire from the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge
14. The military-terrorist wings of Hamas and the PIJ continue claiming responsibility for most of the rockets and mortar shells fired into Israeli territory and at the IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip.
A rocket launcher exposed in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh3wCtwohik for the video.
The Gazan Population
15. According to ITIC information,1,122 Gazans have been killed since the beginning of the operation (as of noon, July 29).
1) 335 terrorist operatives:
A) 175 Hamas operatives
B) 104 PIJ operatives
C) 56 operatives from other terrorist organizations
2) 347 non-involved Palestinians
3) 440 Palestinians whose identity is not yet known
17. Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said that 200,337 Palestinians had left their houses and taken shelter in 85 UNRWA installations. He reported that three additional UNRWA installations had been opened in the central Gaza Strip (Twitter account of Chris Gunness, July 29, 2014).
18. UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon warned that the Gazans' vacating their homes would have "destructive humanitarian consequences". He said that the UN agencies in the Gaza Strip did not have the sources or resources to cope with the situation (Felesteen.ps, July 29, 2014).
Left: Gazans pick up flyers (Wafa.ps, July 30, 2014).. Right: The IAF drops flyers calling on the Gazan population to vacate the area (IDF Spokesman, July 29, 2014)
19. UNRWA reported finding another cache of rockets in one of its schools in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness condemned "condemned those who put civilian lives at risk by placing the rockets in a school" run by the agency. He did not mention to which organization the rockets belonged. He said that UNRWA condemned "the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school. This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises" (Jpost.com, date, 2014). It was the third time since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge that UNRWA reported finding weapons in its schools.
Gaza Strip Power Plant Hit
20. According to reports in the Palestinian media, on July 29, 2014, a fuel tank of the Gaza Strip's power plant was hit. Sheikh Fathi Khalil, deputy head engineer of the Gaza Strip's energy authority, claimed one of the tanks was hit by artillery fire, damaging the steam generators. He said the plant would be out of commission for a year. According to the Palestinians, the power plant supplies about two-thirds of the Gazans' electricity and also operates several pumping stations (Paltoday.tv and Wafa.ps, July 29, 2014).
The Crossings – Update
The Kerem Shalom Crossing
21. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 1,279 trucks carrying food, medicine and medical equipment have entered the Gaza Strip through the crossing. Diesel fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant, gasoline and cooking gas have also been delivered. Contributions from international organizations for Eid al-Fitr (the holiday ending the Muslim religious month of Ramadan) were also delivered through the crossing, including 60 tons of medicine and medical equipment (Cogat.idf.il, July 30, 2014). The Turkish Red Crescent reported sending three shipments of medical equipment for the Gaza Strip. The equipment was consigned to the Palestinian Red Crescent and will enter through the Kerem Shalom crossing (Aa.com.tr, July 29, 2014).
The Erez Crossing
22. Since the field hospital was opened more than 40 patients have received medical care. Some were treated and sent home, while others were sent to hospitals in Israel for further care. Hamas still prevents Gazans from going to the Israeli field hospital (Cogat.idf.il, July 30, 2014).
A doctor treats a Palestinian boy at the Israeli field hospital at the Erez crossing (Cogat.idf.il, July 30, 2014)
Contacts for a Ceasefire
23. According to reports in the Palestinian media, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asked Mahmoud Abbas to appoint an official Palestinian delegation in the name of the PA and the PLO with representatives from all the organizations to participate in the talks in Cairo. The PA is expected to be represented by Majed al-Faraj, head of general intelligence, and Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah figure. Other delegates will be Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, and Ziyad al-Nakhala, the PIJ's deputy secretary general. The delegation is supposed to formulate a Palestinian proposal and ratify it with the Egyptians and other parties (Alwatanvoice.com, July 29, 2014).
24. Mahmoud Abbassaid that the Egyptians had proposed the best initiative, it had to be adhered to and all other initiatives had to be rejected (Safa.ps, July 28, 2014). However, Hamas representative Musa Abu Marzouq claimed in an interview that changes had to be made in the Egyptian initiative. He claimed that what Hamas needed was "talks and respect for Hamas," and only then would it accept Egypt's role as mediator. He also claimed that the conditions for a ceasefire agreement were the lifting of the siege, the immediate opening of the crossings, freedom of fishing, the abolishment of the demilitarized perimeter between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the release of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Operation Brothers' Keeper, the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip's infrastructure and guarantees the Israel would meet its commitments (Ria.ru, July 29, 2014).
The American Position
25. American Secretary of State John Kerrysaid that all the international efforts being made for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had to lead to the disarmament of Hamas. He said a ceasefire agreement would be a new chance for the two sides to negotiate (Maannews.net, July 29, 2014).
26. At a meeting held in the National Press Club in Washington, DC, National Security Advisor Susan Rice told the National Jewish Leaders Assembly that "the United States supports an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire…But, here’s one thing you never have to worry about: America’s support for the State of Israel… We don’t just fight for Israel’s security. We also fight for Israel’s legitimacy…President Obama has been equally clear about who has been responsible for the violence. Hamas fired the rockets. Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli citizens, particularly civilians…" (White House website, July 29, 2014).
The UN Position
27. UN Secretary General Ban-ki Mooncalled for the humanitarian ceasefire to be renewed and called the situation in the Gaza Strip "a human tsunami." He said the UN was not in direct contact with Hamas but rather through Qatar and Turkey (Felesteen.ps, July 29, 2014).
The Battle for Hearts and Minds
Video Documents Hamas Attack on IDF Soldiers
28. On the night of July 29, 2014, Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV aired a video produced by Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Three minutes long, it documented seven terrorist operatives infiltrating into Israeli territory near the village of Nahal Oz and their attempt to abduct an IDF soldier (five IDF soldiers were killed in the attack). One of the terrorist operatives photographed the incident. The video documents the terrorists trying to abduct a soldier. It also shows an Israeli-made Tavor rifle taken as booty (Al-Aqsa TV, July 29, 2014).
Scenes from the video. Left: The tunnel used by the terrorists. Right: The terrorist squad approaches the IDF post. Bottom: The Tavor rifle (Al-Aqsa TV, July 29, 2014).
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.