Israel's Operation Protective Edge entered its sixth day on Sunday, as the death toll in Gaza mounted to more than 160 Palestinians, while the international community stepped up pressures to reach a cease-fire.
On Saturday evening, rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel's north for the first time since the current round of fighting began. No damage was caused. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire into Lebanese territory.
Later on Saturday, Israel struck the home of Gaza's police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh, an attack which proved to be the deadliest since the start of the operation. Twenty-one people were killed and 35 were wounded, among them Al-Batsh.
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11:55 P.M. High-trajectory fire was directed at IDF forces from across Israel's border with Syria. None were injured, and IDF forces returned artillery fire toward Syrian military bases. The IDF spokesman said direct hits were made, and added that the IDF considers the Syrian regime responsible for all such actions undertaken in its territory.
A number of Palestinian men attacked and lightly wounded two Jewish men near Jerusalem's Old City, by Herod's Gate. Police are searching for the attackers. (Nir Hasson)
11:54 P.M. Rocket alert sounds in Ashkelon, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
11:08 P.M. Rocket hits open area in Shaar Hanegev Regional Council; another hits Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
10:45 P.M. A rocket exploded in open area in the Sdot Negev Regional Council after the siren had sounded. (Shirley Seidler)
10:23 P.M. The IDF fired at tagets in Syria in response to a rocket attack on the Golan Heights (Eli Ashkenazi)
10:17 P.M. Three rockets exploded in open spaces in the Eshkol regional council. No injuries or damage were reported. (Shirley Seidler)
10:15 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Infrastructure Minister Silvan Shalom instructed the Israel Electric Company not to repair the power line that was damaged by a rocket near Kisufim, leaving some 70,000 Palestinians in Gaza without electricity. The repairs will be done when there is no danger, they said.
9:32 P.M. Sirens sound in communities adjacent to Gaza.
9:54 P.M. In a security message for U.S. citizens, the State Department said that the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt will open for U.S. passport holders on Monday, July 14, between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Personnel from the U.S. embassy in Cairo will not be present at the Rafah border crossing or in the northern Sinai region, so citizens who travel through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt do so at their own risk.
9:32 P.M. Sirens sound in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.
8:51 P.M. IDF identifies an explosion in the Golan Heights, which appears to have been a rocket fired from Syria. No damage reported. (Gili Cohen)
Rockets on Israel, July 13
8:42 P.M. Four rockets explode in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council (Shirly Seidler)
8:23 P.M. The need to achieve an immediate cease-fire in Gaza was the subject of a phone call between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday evening, according to al-Sissi's spokesman. Ban said that the Security Council would meet this week and is expected to make a decision.
8:17 P.M. According to information provided by the IDF, Ashdod has suffered the most rocket strikes in the country (with the exception of the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip) with more than 120 strikes and 50 interceptions since the operation began. (Gili Cohen)
8:17 P.M. A rocket fired from Gaza strikes a power line within the strip, causing a power blackout for some 70,000 Palestinians in Khan Yunis and Dir al-Balach, according to Israeli security forces. (Gili Cohen)
8:16 P.M. The Home Front Command has issued its instructions for Monday: Civilians living within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip are requested to enter safe zones in the time available to them when they hear a siren or explosion. In Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva, schools and summer camps can proceed as normal, contrary to the instructions of the past few days, on condition that the students and staff can take adequate cover in the time available to them. In the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, educational activities will only take place in adequately secured areas. There are no restrictions in the rest of the country and school and summer camps can proceed as normal.
8:12 P.M. Two rockets downed over the Ashdod region. Eight rockets fall into open areas.
8:04 P.M. Sirens sound in Jerusalem, Askelon, Ashdod and Yavne.
7:16 P.M. Rocket explodes in Netivot. None wounded, no damage reported. (Shirli Seidler)
6:52 P.M. Fire breaks out in Eshkol Regional Council after mortar bomb fired from Gaza explodes. Fire fighters are at the site working to control the blaze. (Shirly Seidler)
6:41 P.M. So far today, 72 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces, and Iron Dome has intercepted an additional 12 rockets. Since Operation Protective Edge began, 707 rockets and mortar bombs have exploded in Israel, according to an IDF count. (Gili Cohen)
6:39 P.M. The IDF says the siren that sounded in Nahariya at around 4:30 P.M. Sunday was a false alarm. (Gili Cohen)
6:26 P.M. Two rockets explode in Sdot Negev Regional Council (Shirli Seidler)
6:18 P.M. The Shin Bet has released the following statement: In the past few hours, false text messages have been circulated, allegedly by the Shin Bet, regarding supposed terror attacks as well as injuries in several parts of the country from rocket fire. The Shin Bet emphasizes that the messages are fake and are being sent by groups of hackers in Gaza and other parts of the world. We advise people to refrain from passing on these messages and not to click on links, which could infect the user's phone with viruses and siphon off personal information. (Gili Cohen)
6:10 P.M. Siren sounds in the Coastal Plain. Three rockets explode in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing damage to agricultural property. (Shirli Seidler)
6:00 P.M. The Labor Party called on the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner on Thursday to investigate the violent interruption of a demonstration against the Gaza operation in Tel Aviv's Habimah Square on Wednesday night. "It's unacceptable that a legal demonstration be disrupted by serious violence without the intervention of the police in the vicinity," the party said in a letter. "Ignoring such actions gives de facto support to dangerous violence and opens the door to escalation."
5:55 P.M. A siren has sounded in the Eshkol regional council. Earlier, a rocket rocket landed in an open area in the Sedot Negev regional council. No injuries were reported. (Shirley Seidler)
5.50 P.M.An additional Iron Dome battery is expected to be provided to the IDF in the next few days, according to defense officials. The IDF says it's aware of the existence in Gaza of rockets with a range of 150 km. (Gili Cohen)
5: 57 P.M. A Hadera woman aged 41 was lightly injured while making her way to a shelter during the recent alert. A 24-year-old woman was injured in Netanya. In Gush Dan, five people suffered from shock.
5:27 P.M. Hundreds of Israelis have received messages purporting to come from the Shin Bet and the IDF over the past day. The messages, which warned that a suicide bomber had infiltrated Tel Aviv with the intention of blowing himself up in shelters, were apparently the work of hackers and not the product of any security agency. (Gili Cohen)
5:20 P.M. Toward evening on Sunday, the Israeli Air Force struck two missile launchers in Gaza that had been used earlier in the day to fire high-trajectory missiles at Ashdod and the Be'er Sheva area. The IDF also attacked a launcher in the north of the strip which had been used to fire medium-range missiles in the last few days.
4:30 P.M. Rocket sirens sound across central and north Israel, including Holon, Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, Hadera and the northern city of Nahariya, indicating a mass barrage. A rocket was intercepted over Hadera. Hamas, which took responsibility for the barrage, claims to have fired a R-160 rocket at Haifa, three M-75 rockets at Tel Aviv and a Fajr missile at Rishon Letzion.
4:00 P.M. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet with his French, German and British counterparts on Sunday evening to discuss the attempts to promote a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The meeting will take place in Vienna, where the ministers are attending nuclear talks with Iran. (Barak Ravid)
3:50 P.M. The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza called on the strip's residents to ignore Israeli warnings, whether delivered via leaflets or in telephone messages. The ministry described the warnings as part of the psychological warfare Israel is waging against the Palestinians, due to "the failure of its occupation policies until now."
According to the ministry, its people are monitoring developments on the ground and the residents will be informed if they need to evacuate their homes. "We are in contact with all the international organizations and human rights groups operating in Gaza," the ministry said. "Until now there has been no development that requires the evacuation of areas in the north of the strip." (Jack Khoury)
3:41 P.M. Gaza death toll rises to 167, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. (Jack Khoury)
3:18 P.M. Another 300 Palestinians with foreign passports exit Gaza and make their way to the Allenby Crossing, en route to Jordan, following approval by COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories). Some 40 trucks of food, 120 tons of gas, 306,000 liters petrol, and 70,000 liters of diesel have passed through Kerem Shalom Crossing on Sunday. (Gili Cohen)
2:48 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Ashdod and another over Ashkelon. Two rockets fall in open spaces in Ashdod and another in a construction zone in Ashdod, causing no damages or injuries. (Gili Cohen)
2:35 P.M. A barrage of rocket is fired at central Israel, in cities south of Tel Aviv, for first time since Saturday night. Rockets also fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon.
2:25 P.M. Rocket explodes near a town in the Yoav Regional Council; none wounded. (Shirley Seidler)
2:10 P.M. Two rockets explode in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
2:08 P.M. Some 36 percent of rockets launched toward Israel in the recent round of hostilities have been fired from the Gaza Strip's north, according to defense establishment figures. Some 30% of long-range projectiles have been fired from the area. Ten percent of the rockets have been launched from the city of Beit Lahya. (Gili Cohen)
1:44 P.M. The IDF continues to strike targets in the Gaza Strip, military officials say. Sunday's attacks have targeted the homes of a senior Hamas operative, an Islamic Jihad commander and a militant in charge of firing rockets in the Jabalya refugee camp. (Gili Cohen)
1:25 P.M. Three rockets explode in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
1:15 P.M. Israel's security cabinet is to convene in Tel Aviv to discuss the operation in Gaza. (Barak Ravid)
1:08 P.M. Hamas claims responsibility for the rocket fire that seriously wounded a 16-year-old in Ashkelon. Another person was lighly hurt in the attack. (Shirley Seidler and Gili Cohen)
Text messages sent by the IDF to warn Gaza Strip residents of forthcoming attacks are often received after a significant delay, evidently due to the overloaded cell phone network, residents say. Often these messages are received after strikes take place. (Jack Khoury)
12:50 P.M. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is flying to Israel on Monday for talks with both Israelis and Palestinians to help negotiate an end to the increasingly bloody round of fighting.
Germany's foreign ministry confirmed a report Sunday in the weekly Bild am Sonntag newspaper which said Steinmeier would meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The newspaper quoted Steinmeier as saying "Hamas' rocket terror against Israeli cities and villages has to finally stop. The region now needs a coalition of sanity to find ways out of the escalation." (AP)
12:27 P.M. A Grad rocket exploded in Ashkelon, moderately-seriously wounding a 16-year-old boy. The Iron Dome intercepts another rocket over the city. Flying shrapnel from second rocket causes damage, but no injuries. (Gili Cohen )
12:06 P.M. According to witness reports, hundreds of families have left the cities of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip's north and are seeking shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City. (Jack Khoury)
11:45 P.M Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to "continue operating in Gaza forcefully in order to restore quiet," adding "We don't know when operation will end; it might take a long time," he says. (Barak Ravid)
11:25 A.M. Israel Police arrest 10 Arabs after clashes break out on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rioters hurled stones at the officers, wounding two.
10:56 A.M. Three rockets explode in open areas in the Merhavim Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
10:50 A.M. Three rockets explode in open areas near Be'er Sheva. (Shirley Seidler)
10: 30 A.M. Over the past week 53 rockets have been fired toward Be'er Sheva, the municipality says; 24 were intercepted, 27 fell in open areas and two hit within the city. One woman was lightly wounded. (Shirley Seidler)
10:28 A.M. Rioters hurl rocks and fireworks at police on Temple Mount, wounding two officers. The site has been closed to visitors. (Nir Hasson)
10:22 A.M. The Iron Dome intercepts a rocket over Ashkelon. (Gili Cohen)
9:43 A.M. Some 800 Gazans with foreign passports begin leaving the Strip via the Erez Crossing. (Gili Cohen)
9:00 A.M. Organizers have canceled Neil Young's scheduled concert for Thursday, citing inability to provide adequate security for such a mass audience.
"Unfortunately, we are forced to announce that Neil Young and Crazy Horse's concert scheduled for this Thursday in Park Hayarkon has been canceled, in light of the rocket attacks of the recent days and concern for the security of the audience at an event with so many people," promoter Shuki Weiss said in a statement. "Information regarding refunds and the cancelation of tickets will be released in a press statement and ticket offices by Friday."
8:45 A.M. The Lebanese army is searching for sites from which rockets were fired toward the Western Galilee. (Jack Khoury)
8:40 A.M. Five rockets explode in the Eshkol Regional Council. Three hit within a town; house damaged. (Shirley Seidler)
8:33 A.M. Israel has struck some 1,320 targets in Gaza since launching Operation Protective Edge last Tuesday. More than 800 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel in that time. (Gili Cohen)
8:28 A.M. The IDF strikes a rocket launcher in northern Gaza. (Gili Cohen)
Six people are treated at a hospital in Nahariya for very light wounds and shock caused by the rocket fire from Lebanon. (Eli Ashkenazi)
8:15 A.M. The IDF launches an investigation into the incident that critically wounded Hamas police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh in Gaza City. The defense establishment has found that 21 people were killed in the incident, some of whom were terror operatives, according to an IDF officer.
The military decided to target Al-Batsh's home after learning that it housed operatives suspected of planning rocket attacks. Evidently, dozens were leaving the mosque next door during the strike, which therefore resulted in numerous casualties. Contradicting previous reports, defense officials say residents were not warned of the forthcoming strike. (Gili Cohen)
8:00 A.M. A senior IDF officer tells military reporters that the commando raid on the Al-Sudaniya beach successfully neutralized long-range rocket launchers. According to the officer, the naval forces exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen. Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft struck nearby areas. (Gili Cohen)
7:35 A.M. The Israeli military is dropping leaflets over Beit Lahia, in the Gaza Strip's north, warning residents to evacuate the area ahead of planned airstrikes, the IDF Spokesman's Unit says. The warning is also issued via text and recorded messages. Residents are advised to travel south before noon.
"The IDF's operation is meant to be brief," the message says. "Anyone who fails to heed the IDF's instructions will put his and his family's lives at risk. Beware."
7:15 A.M. The IDF confirms that three rockets were fired on Saturday evening toward the Western Galilee, in Israel's north. Two were found. The security forces continue to search for the third. (Gili Cohen)
6: 18 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts three rockets above central Israel, one above Ashdod. (Gili Cohen)
6:02 A.M. Rocket sirens sounded from southern Israel to Ben Gurion International Airport. Sirens were sounded in Ashdod, Rishon Lezion, Lod, Nes Ziona, Modi'in, and in other towns and cities. (Haaretz)
5:25 A.M. Rocket alert sounded in Eshkol Regional Council. (Haaretz)
4:52 A.M. The Israeli naval commando raid in Gaza reported earlier occurred in the Al-Sudaniya beach to the northwest of the Strip, Al Jazeera reported. The Israeli force encountered Palestinian gunmen, and a battle ensued which included the use of heavy arms. Palestinian sources said three Hamas fighters were killed, DPA reported. (Gili Cohen)
4:01 A.M. Rocket siren sounded in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council (Haaretz)
3:50 A.M. Israel Navy's Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) commando unit raided a target in the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported. According to the IDF, the target was a compound from which long-range rockets were fired. Four soldiers were lightly wounded in the raid, and taken to hospitals for treatment. (Gili Cohen)
2:21 A.M. The death toll of the airstrike on the house of Gaza's police chief rises to 18, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reports. According to the spokesperson of the Gaza's emergency services, this is the highest number of victims from a single strike since hostilities began. 35 people were wounded in the attack, among them the police chief, Tayseer Al-Batsh. According to the report, in another attack on the town of Rafah three were killed, and five wounded. (Jack Khoury)
1:20 A.M. Dozens of right-wingers attack leftist demonstrators with clubs in central Tel Aviv after a rocket siren sounds Saturday evening. Click for full story. (Yarden Skop)
00:30 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts two rockets above Ashdod in southern Israel. Two rockets explode in open areas in Be'er Sheva, and two other landings were located in Netivot. (Gili Cohen)
00:17 A.M. Palestinian news agency Ma'an reports one man killed and five wounded in last hour after Israel Air Force strikes Rafah, Gaza Strip, raising death count since the operation started to 151.
For July 12 updates, click here
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