Three motorcycles found in a tunnel that extended from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory near the Karni crossing (IDF Spokesman, August 3, 2014).
Senior PIJ terrorist operative Daniel Kamal Mansour (Saraya.ps, August 4, 2014).
UNRWA distributes water to the residents of the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of Palinfo, August 3, 2014).
Confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount (Israel Police Force Spokesman, August 4, 2014).
Hamas continues inciting the residents of Judea and Samaria to acts of terrorism and violence.
Members of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo (PNN TV, August 3, 2014)
Overview of the Situation
1. The destruction of terrorist tunnels in the Gaza Strip is coming to an end. A considerable portion of the IDF forces have already withdrawn from combat areas in the Gaza Strip and redeployed near the border. During the past 24 hours there were fewer clashes between IDF forces and terrorist operatives but attempts were still being made to attack Israeli soldiers. Mortar shell fire continues to target the western Negev; rocket fire into Israeli territory continues (75 rocket hits identified on August 3, 2014). The humanitarian ceasefire unilaterally declared by Israel on August 4 was not respected and the rocket fire continued.
2. On August 3, 2014, Egyptian-mediated talks began in Cairo for a ceasefire arrangement. The talks were attended by a Palestinian delegation of representatives from the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and other terrorist organizations (with the exception of those living in the Gaza Strip, who encountered problems in leaving). According to the media, the Palestinian delegation presented a list of combined Hamas-PA maximum demands. Hamas continued firing rockets during the talks to be able to exert pressure on Israel.
3. During August 3, 2014 the IDF continued redeploying. A considerable portion of the IDF forces have already withdrawn from the Gaza Strip. The withdrawal is intended to allow the forces to organize for continuing its tasks, depending on an evaluation of the situation and its requirements. Even after the redeployment, activity continued in the Gaza Strip to locate and destroy terrorist tunnels and stop the rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory. So far more than half of the terrorist tunnels located have been destroyed. Ground, air and sea forces also continue their activity to destroy the terrorist infrastructure constructed by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations (IDF Spokesman, August 4, 2014).
Humanitarian Ceasefire Declared
4. On August 4, 2014, Israel declared a seven-hour unilateral humanitarian ceasefire between 1000 and 1700 hours. It included the entire Gaza Strip with the exception of the eastern area of Rafah, where IDF activity continued. Israel called on the residents of the Khan Yunis neighborhoods of Abasan al-Kabira and Abasan al-Saghira to return to their houses.
5. In response to the Israeli declaration of a humanitarian ceasefire, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said it was a unilateral ceasefire whose objective was to draw attention away from what he called "Israel's acts of slaughter." He said Hamas did not trust the ceasefire and called on Gazans to be extremely careful (Al-Aqsa TV, August 4, 2014). A spokesman for the Hamas ministry of health told Gazans to be careful because the declaration of a ceasefire was unilateral and had not been agreed to by the Palestinian organizations (Facebook page of the spokesman for the ministry of the interior, August 4, 2014).
6. The latest ceasefire was also not respected by Hamas. As of noon, August 4, 2014, rocket and mortar shell fire continued to attack the western Negev, Ashqelon and Ashdod.
The Ground Operation
7. Along with the IDF's redeployment of its forces, the ground operation in the Gaza Strip continues in a limited number of combat areas. Terrorist tunnels continue to be exposed and destroyed; IDF fighting with terrorist operatives also continues. As opposed to the first days of the ground operation, the scope of clashes between IDF forces and terrorist operatives has lessened. Some of the main events were the following (IDF Spokesman, August 3, 2014):
1) An IDF force identified four terrorist operatives in the last stages of preparing to fire an anti-tank missile from inside a building. An armored force opened fire at the structure, which collapsed, killing the operatives.
2) An IDF force exposed 150 mortar shells and a tunnel shaft. During the activity a number of terrorist operatives were seen emerging from the shaft. IDF forces fired at the operatives, who escaped into a nearby building. Three operatives were killed. The forces exploded the tunnel.
3) An IDF force identified light arms fire coming from inside a building and returned fire. A terrorist operative was seen driving away. Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft attacked the vehicle.
8. In a joint IDF-Israeli security forces operation, Daniel Kamal Mansour, commander of the northern Gaza Strip brigade of the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was attacked and killed. According to Israeli security sources he dealt with firing rockets into Israel and was responsible for the intelligence network in the northern Gaza Strip (NRG.co.il, August 4, 2014). The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ's military-terrorist wing, announced that Daniel Kamal Mansour, aka Abu Abdallah, the commander of the northern Gaza Strip brigade of the military wing and member of the military council, had been killed on the evening of August 3. He died in Israel's attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip (Saraya.ps, August 4, 2014).
Military Equipment Found in a Tunnel Extending into Israeli Territory
9. On July 28, 2014, an IDF force clashed with a terrorist squad that emerged from a terrorist tunnel opening on the Israeli side of the border near the Karni crossing. Five IDF soldiers were killed. In the activity carried out to neutralize the tunnel, a large quantity of weapons was found. They included RPGs, gas masks, various types of grenades, mortar shells, ammunition, blocks of explosives ready for detonation, launchers, IEDs and Kalashnikov assault rifles. Three motorcycles were also found parked facing outward. They were apparently meant to be used to provide rapid transportation to the Gaza Strip after the abduction of Israelis. The tunnel was wide enough to accommodate them.
Left: Some of the weapons found inside the tunnel. Right: The three motorcycles found in the tunnel (IDF Spokesman, August 3, 2014).
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHt3FxoolI for the video.
Air Attacks on Terrorist Targets Continue
10. In addition to the ground operation, the IDF continued attacking terrorist targets from the air. So far, about 4,635 terrorist targets have been attacked in the Gaza Strip. On August 3, 2014, approximately 40 terrorist targets were attacked.
IDF and Civilian Losses
11. Sixty-four IDF soldiers and three civilians have been killed in Operation Protective Edge.
Rocket Fire into Israeli Territory
12. Since the beginning of the operation approximately 2,630 rockets have hit Israeli territory, 1,445 since the beginning of the ground operation. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted about 560 of them. During the past 24 hours, perhaps because of the IDF's redeployment and the start of the talks in Cairo, the scope of rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory increased. On August 3, 2014, 75 rocket hits were identified, most of them in the western Negev. Rockets were also fired at Ashqelon, Ashdod and Beersheba. One barrage was fired at the center of Israel. Two civilians were wounded by mortar shell fire in one of the western Negev communities.
13. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, issued an announcement claiming responsibility for rocket fire targeting Tel Aviv, Beersheba and the southern city of Kiryat Malachi. According to the announcement, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades still had a sufficient quantity of weapons to make Israel surrender to the Palestinians' demands (Qassam.ps, August 3, 2014).
14. A CNN correspondent interviewed Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau. Asked if Hamas would be willing to stop firing rockets and constructing tunnels, Khaled Mashaal said it was possible, if an arrangement could be reached with Israel. The correspondent said that according to Mashaal, he would agree to a long-term ceasefire if Hamas' demands were met (CNN.com, August 3, 2014).
Daily Distribution of Rocket Hits in Israeli Territory during Operation Protective Edge
Rocket Fire from the Sinai Peninsula
15. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafist organization affiliated with the global jihad, claimed responsibility for firing four rockets from the Sinai Peninsula at Ketziot (in Israel's south near the Egyptian border) on August 3, 2014. The organization also posted pictures of the rockets and launches. The rockets apparently landed in open areas (Facebook page of Adam D9 News, August 3, 2014).
Left: A rocket launch. Right: Four rockets with the name of the organization. The caption reads "Four Grad rockets attack the [Israeli] military base at Ketziot" (Facebook page of Adam D9 News, August 3, 2014)
The Gazan Population
16. According to ITIC information,1,498 Gazans have been killed since the beginning of the operation (as of noon, August 3).
17. The distribution (not final, as of noon, August 4, 2014) of the 1,498 Palestinians killed is as follows:
1) 453 terrorist operatives:
A. 244 Hamas operatives
B. 142 PIJ operatives
C. 67 operativesfrom other terrorist organizations
2) 2) 466 non-involved Palestinians
3) 579 Palestinianswhose identity is not yet known
Residents Begin Returning to Their Houses
18. Regarding the return of the civilian population to their houses, IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Motti Almoz said that the IDF had no desire to harm local residents. He said they could get organized and equip themselves with food and water. However, he said, Hamas was forcing civilians to remain in the combat areas (IDF Spokesman, August 4, 2014).
19. On the other hand, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees called on the Gazans not to return to their houses in the areas from which the IDF had withdrawn. He said that [calling on residents to return] was part of an Israeli tactic. He said the IDF had withdrawn from the region because of "resistance" attacks behind enemy lines that prevented the Israeli forces from entering Palestinian territory (Al-Jazeera, August 3, 2014).
The Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip
20. Reports from the Gaza Strip indicate that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. According to a UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) report issued on August 3, 2014, approximately 26% of Gazans have been displaced, water and electrical facilities have collapsed, the health system is on the verge of collapse. According to a report, contagious diseases have begun to appear. Despite the needs, financial aid has not yet arrived. The report calls for humanitarian ceasefires and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to enable the continuous work of health care workers (UNOCHA report, August 3, 2014).
21. According to an August 3, 2014 UNRWA report, 90 of its schools currently house 259,321 Gazans. The schools can house them for only a few days because they do not have appropriate sanitation facilities. In addition, UNRWA can occasionally supply three liters of drinking water per person daily, far less than the World Health Organization's standard of 9-15 liters a day (UNRWA.org, August 3, 2014).
UNRWA School Hit
22. On August 3, 2014, the medical services in the Gaza Strip reported that ten people had been killed, most of them women and children, and dozens had been wounded when an UNRWA school in eastern Rafah was hit. The school serves as a shelter for 3,000 Gazans who left their houses. IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Motti Almoz said that the IDF was investigating the events. He said the IDF had been operating near the school, but that no IDF hit had been seen in the area and that there was no confirmation that an attack on the school had been carried out by IDF forces (IDF Spokesman, August 4, 2014).
23. The news of the hit on the school led to angry responses around the globe:
1) UNRWA's commissioner generalsaid that the IDF had been informed of the school's location to ensure its safety. He said UNRWA had informed the IDF several times that they were using the school to shelter civilians who had left their houses. He called on the authorities in Israel to investigate the incident as well as two similar incidents of attacks on UNRWA schools (UNRWA.org, August 3, 2014).
2) UN Secretary General Ban-ki Mooncalled the [alleged IDF] attack a criminal act and a moral outrage, and called for those responsible to be brought to trial for a gross violation of humanitarian law (UN.org, August 3, 2014).
3) The spokesperson for the American department of statesaid that "Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties. UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians. We call for a full and prompt investigation of this incident as well as the recent shelling of other UNRWA schools" (State Department website, August 3, 2014).
4) The Egyptian ministry of foreign affairsissued an announcement condemning the attack and saying that Egypt demanded an immediate end to the attacks on innocent civilians and that a ceasefire had to be reached (Youm7.com, August 3, 2014).
Rocket Fire from the Al-Shifa'a Hospital
24. A France 24 TV broadcast in Arabic from Al-Shifa'a Hospital on the night of August 2, 2014, reported the difficult conditions prevailing in the hospital. While the correspondent was reporting, a rocket was launched close to where she was standing. The shriek of the rocket and the flash of its launch could be clearly heard and seen (YouTube, August 3, 2014).
Left: The France 24 correspondent flinches away from the noise of the rocket launcher, and the flash can be seen. Right: The correspondent reporting from the Al-Shifa'a Hospital.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuN6IzalalE for the video.
The Crossings – Update
The Erez Crossing
25. Passage through the Erez crossing was coordinated for 24 patients and their escorts who were en route to medical treatment in hospitals in Judea and Samaria. Fifteen wounded Palestinians were transferred to hospitals after receiving primary treatment at the Israeli field hospital established at the crossing. On August 1, 2014, 30 doctors, 29 of them from Judea and Samaria and one from Israel, entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing.
The Kerem Shalom Crossing
26. Throughout Operation Protective Edge the Kerem Shalom crossing has remained open, even after the ground operation began. It remained open despite the fact that it has been one of the sites most menaced by mortar shell fire from the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 1,552 trucks have entered the Gaza Strip through the crossing carrying food, medical equipment, diesel fuel for the power plant, gasoline for transportation and cooking gas (Cogat.idf.il, August 3, 2014).
27. On August 1, 2014, in light of the fighting in the Rafah area after the abduction of an Israeli officer, the Kerem Shalom crossing was closed because of its proximity to the battle zone. Ninety-one trucks carrying food, water and medicine could not enter the Gaza Strip and 19 repairs planned for the infrastructure were cancelled (ten of them repairs to the electrical grid) (Cogat.idf.il, August 3, 2014).
28. On August 3, 2014, 186 trucks entered the Gaza Strip, more than half of them carrying food. In addition, 3,000 units of blood for transfusion, water containers, generators, medical equipment, animal food, clothing and various types of fuel were also delivered.
The Rafah Crossing
29. On the evening of August 3, 2014, the Egyptians closed the Rafah crossing because of IAF attacks nearby. According to the Egyptians, the crossing will remain closed until the situation stabilizes and the lives of crossing workers and those using the crossing can be protected (Almasryalyoum.com, August 3, 2014).
Judea and Samaria
Violent Confrontations on the Temple Mount
30. When the Temple Mount opened to visitors on August 4, 2014, dozens of masked Palestinians began throwing rocks and firecrackers at Israeli policemen at the Mugrabi Gate. Police broke into the Temple Mount compound and detained the rioters. Five policemen sustained minor wounds. According to the Israel Police Force, masked Palestinians placed barricades at two mosque entrances to keep the doors from being closed. The police removed the barricades and gained control of the rioters (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, August 4, 2014).
Call for "Resistance" [i.e., Violence and Terrorism]
Hamas continues inciting the residents of Judea and Samaria to acts of terrorism and violence. On August 2, 2014, the Islamic Bloc of Al-Najah University in Nablus posted a call on its Facebook page suggesting ways to "resist" (Facebook page of the Islamic Bloc of Al-Najah University, August 2, 2014).
Contacts for a Ceasefire
31. According to the media, the Palestinian delegation (without representatives from the Gaza Strip) met with the Egyptians in Cairo to reach a unified position before the negotiations began. Senior Hamas figure Izzat al-Rishq met with the head of Egyptian general intelligence, after which he said they had presented Egypt with Hamas' demands in writing. He said they asked the Egyptian to invest effort to meet the demands. The Palestinians intend to use the Egyptians as middlemen to inform Israel of their demands (Egyptian TV and Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, August 3, 2014).
32. Musa Abu Marzouq, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said the Hamas delegation would participate in the talks in Cairo without representatives from the Gaza Strip, who could not leave because of security circumstances. He said Hamas wanted a ceasefire and the lifting of the siege. He said Hamas' participation in the delegation in Cairo was a great achievement and was potentially a new stage in Hamas' relations with Egypt (Alqudsnews.net, August 3, 2014).
The Propaganda and Legal Campaign
Promoting Legal Procedures
33. Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said he had the signatures of all the members of Fatah on a document stating that Mahmoud Abbas should sign the Rome Convention. He said that when he was in Qatar he had even shown the document to Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau. Khaled Mashaal, he said, told him Hamas would discuss the matter. However, Hamas had yet to sign (Palestinian TV, August 3, 2014). (Note: Mahmoud Abbas asked all the Palestinian organizations to agree in writing to legal procedures undertaken by the Palestinians because if Hamas and the PIJ lodged a suit against Israel in international courts, they themselves could also be liable to suits).
Video Depicting the Weapons in the Hands of Hamas' Military-Terrorist Wing
34. On August 3, 2014, Hamas' military-terrorist wing issued a video called "Surprise." It showed a "Ghoul" sniper rifle, named for Adnan al-Ghoul, who had been a senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative and the right hand of Muhammad Deif, the head of the Brigades. According to the video the rifle has a diameter of 14.5mm and a range of two kilometers (about a mile and a quarter). The video showed four events in which the rifle was allegedly used in Operation Protective Edge (Qassam.ps, August 3, 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.http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/230160.htm