A 4-year-old boy was killed and eight were wounded on Friday following a series of rocket and mortar shell barrages launched from Gaza. Some 100 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel over a 24-hour period.
Daniel Tragerman, the child killed when a mortar shell hit a car in a kibbutz by the Gaza border, is the first Israeli child to be killed in this round of violence.
In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to step up the Israeli strikes in Gaza.
"In this difficult moment, I wish to strengthen the people of Israel," Netanyahu said. "Hamas will pay a heavy price for this terrible terrorist attack. The IDF and the Shin Bet will intensify their operations against Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza until the goals of Operation Protective Edge will be reached."
The IDF has struck some 60 targets in Gaza on Friday and Saturday morning. According to Palestinian medical officials, 11 were killed over the weekend.
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Latest updates [Saturday]:
11:50 P.M. Rocks thrown at two buses near Wadi Ara in central Israel. No injuries reported.
11:44 P.M. Following the rocket fire from Lebanon, IDF protests to UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. (Gili Cohen)
11:55 P.M. One person sustained light wounds from a rocket explosion in Be'er Sheva. (Shirly Seidler)
11:03 P.M. Rocket strikes a residential building in a community in the western Galilee. Damage reported. (Jack Khoury)
23:01 P.M. Egypt is preparing for the return of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, according to Palestinian sources.
22:54 P.M. At least one rocket falls in Be'er Sheva. Emergency teams on their way to the site.
10:40 P.M. Three rockets explode in open areas in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
The IDF said that 106 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel, out of which 73 exploded in Israeli territory, three of which in built up areas, and 17 rockets were intercepted. The IDF struck 59 targets in the Gaza Strip. (Gili Cohen)
10:35 P.M. A Rocket fired from Lebanon explodes in an open area in northern Israel. (Haaretz)
10:23 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in the western Galilee in northern Israel. (Haaretz)
9:37 P.M. An Israeli aircraft struck a private vehicle in the Ansar neighborhood in central Gaza City. Palestinians report one person was killed and 11 wounded. IDF said the vehicle was carrying terrorists. (Jack Khoury and Gili Cohen)
9:28 P.M. An Israeli army intelligence officer says Hamas has over 2,000 short range rockets and many dozens of mid-range rockets left. According to him, this amounts to less than 30 percent of the rockets in Hamas' possession prior to the operation.
The officer said that Hamas is behind most of the rocket and mortar fire. However, Hamas has limited ability to manufacture rockets, due to the Israeli airstrikes targeting rocket production plants. According to the officer, out of the 4,000 rockets fired so far, over 600 were confirmed to have been fired from "civilian sites."
The officer also discussed the mediation attempts between Israel and Hamas, and said that "Hamas continues to exhibit resilience in fire to our territory, and rejects an agreement. But there isn't much significant negotiations at this time."
He added that "this is not necessarily a dead end, this could be an interim stage on the way to the end, but no one knows what the future holds." (Gili Cohen)
9:19 P.M. Palestinians report a man was killed and 11 wounded in an Israeli air strike targeting a private vehicle in the Ansar neighborhood in central Gaza City. (Jack Khoury)
8:41 P.M. Two mortar shells explode in open areas in Eshkol Regional Council, near the Gaza Strip. (Shirly Seidler)
8:28 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts rocket above central Israel. (Gili Cohen)
8:22 P.M. Palestinians report 16 were wounded in the air strike on the apartment building in southwest Gaza City. No fatalities were reported. Local residents said the building housed 44 families. (Jack Khoury, Reuters)
8:16 P.M. Rocket sirens sound across central Israel. (Haaretz)
7:58 P.M. Fragments from a rocket interception hit two buildings in Ashkelon, causing some property damage. Some people suffer shock. (Shirly Seidler)
7:40 P.M. Palestinians report an apartment building in southwest Gaza City has collapsed following an Israeli airstrike. Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says at least 10 people, including four children, were wounded in the strike.
Police say a warning missile hit the roof of the 11-story building about five minutes before the airstrike. The building has 48 apartments. (Jack Khoury, AP)
According to the IDF, a Hamas command center was operating in the building. The IDF also said a warning shot was fired at the building before the air strike. (Gili Cohen)
7:20 P.M. Hamas executed four more people suspected of collaborating with Israel, Maan news agency reports, citing witnesses. 18 suspected 'collaborators' were executed Friday.
The executions took place in front of onlookers in northern Gaza.
Hamas says the suspects were tried beforehand, but local human rights groups call the executions "extra judicial." (DPA)
7:13 P.M. Hamas top official Mashir Al-Masri said Hamas might be willing to return to the negotiating table in Cairo, if Israel accepts the group's demands. "Fighting is the strategy of the Palestinian people, as long as Israel rejects the Palestinian demands. The resumption of talks is conditional on acceptance of the Palestinian demands without evasions, maneuvers or foot-dragging. We want to know in advance that pressure will be exerted on Israel, to force it to accept all our demands."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that "we'll discuss any cease-fire proposal on a case-by-case basis, according to how much it complies with the Palestinian people's demands." (Jack Khoury)
6:45 P.M. Five rockets explode near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, near the Gaza Strip. Another mortar shell explodes in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
6:28 P.M. Four mortar shells explode outside a town in the Sdot Negev Regional Council near the Gaza Strip. Earlier, rocket sirens were sounded in the area. Another rocket exploded in a forest in the Be'er Tuvia Regional Council, sparking a fire. Firefighters are at the scene. (Shirly Seidler)
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported 12 Palestinians were killed in Israeli army strikes in the Strip on Saturday.
6:00 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts four rockets over the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council north of the Gaza Strip. Earlier, rocket sirens were sounded in the areas surrounding Ashkelon and Ashdod. (Shirly Seidler)
5:17 P.M. Mortar shell explodes in open area in Eshkol Regional Council near Gaza Strip. Earlier, three rockets exploded in open areas in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
4:49 P.M. A 20-year-old Palestinian is in serious condition after an exchange of fire with Israel Police in Jerusalem on Friday. According to the police, a special police unit spotted gun fire from the Shoafat Refugee Camp toward the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, and returned fire, confirming a hit. The suspected Palestinian youth is currently hospitalized in the Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, in Jerusalem.
According to the police, the incident followed another shooting incident toward Pisgat Ze'ev, after which the special unit was deployed in the area. (Nir Hasson)
4:42 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, saying Hamas has broken the cease-fire and is responsible for the escalation in violence. Netanyahu said this is the 11th time Hamas has violated a cease-fire with Israel. Netanyahu also said Hamas is hiding behind civilians and fires at Israel seeking a massacre of Israeli civilians, noting the death of an Israeli four-year-old on Friday by a mortar shell. Netanyahu also said that Israel does not deliberately harm civilians, and expresses regret when innocents are hurt.
The prime minister added that "the world saw yesterday that Hamas, like ISIS, performs mass executions. In addition, Hamas, like ISIS is persecuting minorities. Both groups' creed calls for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, and both groups use the same murderous methods – that's why Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas." (Jonatahn Lis)
4:28 P.M. Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume ceasefire talks. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a short statement on Saturday calling on both sides to resume talks and Palestinian President Maoumoud Abbas, in Cairo after meeting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, also urged swift resumption of negotiations.An Egyptian diplomat said Cairo expected to receive responses from both Israel and Hamas by Monday. (Reuters)
4:02 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts rocket above Ashdod. Earlier, rocket sirens were sounded in the area. (Gili Cohen)
3:11 P.M. The IDF threatens to strike any Gaza house from which rockets or mortar shells are fired, deviating from its previous retaliatory policies.
In leaflets airdropped over the Gaza Strip in recent hours, the military said that "every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted," and warned residents to stay away "from where fire was directed at Israel." An army officer said the new retaliatory policy follows "hundreds of instances in which civilian homes were used" to fire rockets or mortar shells toward Israel. Read the full story here
According to the IDF, since the collapse of the truce last Tuesday, over 520 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, of which 70 rockets were intercepted. The IDF has since struck about 240 targets in the Strip. (Gili Cohen)
3:02 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts rocket in the Ashkelon area in southern Israel. Earlier, rocket sirens were sounded in the area. (Shirly Seidler)
2:10 P.M. Palestinian sources say PA President Mahmoud Abbas intends to ask the United Nations for a resolution that would set a deadline for the Israeli occupation. Media outlets in Qatar report that the move was discussed in meetings held in Doha between Abbas, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani over the past two days.
The resolution that the Palestinians seek would set a timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. (Jack Khoury)
2:05 P.M. The funeral of Daniel Tragerman, the 4-year-old boy killed in a mortar shell attack on a kibbutz near the Gaza border, is set to take place on Sunday at 9:00 A.M. at the Pitchat Shalom cemetery.
A mortar shell explodes in an open area in Sdot Negev. (Shirley Seidler)
1:28 P.M. A rocket is intercepted over the Ashdod region; another explodes in an open area nearby. (Shirley Seidler)
1:13 P.M. The Philippine government says it would bring home its peacekeeping forces from the Golan Heights amid the deteriorating security in the region and would withdraw its troops from Liberia because of the Ebola outbreak.
The 331 Filipino U.N. troops in the Golan Heights will be sent home after their tour of duty ends in October. (AP)
1:05 P.M. Five mortar shells explode in Eshkol Regional Council; one hits within a town, damaging buildings. Another hits an open area in Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
1:00 P.M. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calls for a swift resumption of the Cairo-mediated talks between Israel and the Palestinians that failed last week to put an end to the Gaza crisis.
"My main goal is for the truce talks to resume in Egypt as soon as possible to avoid more casualties and sacrifices," Abbas told a news conference after meeting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
Abbas stressed that the Egyptian proposalwill continue to serve as the basis for any such negotiations, and that Hamas has accepted the initiative.
Abbas also addressed the Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, noting that the PA has already joined 15 international institutions and will continue to make efforts to access additional organizations, as has been agreed upon by the Palestinian factions.
He further stated that the PA is in consultations with high ranking officials in the Arab world over a draft for a long-term agreement with Israel, which would be presented to the U.S. and the international community. (Reuters and Jack Khoury)
12:35 P.M. The IDF says it has been cautioning residents of the Gaza Strip on Saturday to stay away from sites used for terrorism purposes. The military says it has been distributing the warning across the enclave via text messages, recorded messages, and leaflets.
"The IDF intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructure across the Gaza Strip," the text of the leaflets says. "Hamas leadership, while remaining in underground hiding, disregarding the civilians' needs and wishes for tranquility, will be pursued.
"Israel is currently attacking, and will continue to attack, every area from which terror activities against Israel originate. Every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted.
"For your own safety, prevent terrorists from utilizing your property for terror agendas, and stay away from every site in which terrorist organizations are operating. The IDF calls you to distance yourselves from where fire was directed at Israel.
"The IDF's campaign has not been concluded. Beware."
12:28 P.M. Seventeen rockets and mortar shells have been fired toward Israel on Saturday before noon. Twelve exploded within Israeli territory, two were intercepted by the Iron Dome and the rest fell within the Gaza Strip. Israel, meanwhile, has struck 30 targets in Gaza. (Gili Cohen)
12:22 P.M. A mortar shell explodes within a town in Eshkol Regional Council. Another hit an open area nearby. (Shirley Seidler)
12:00 P.M. Two mortar shell explods in an open areas in Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
11:48 A.M. A mortar shell hits a dining hall in a kibbutz in Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, causing severe damage. No casualties reported. On Friday, a 4-year-old boy was killed in a mortar shell attack in the same town.
Earlier, a mortar shell exploded in Eshkol Regional Council, causing property damage. No casualties reported. (Shirley Seidler)
11:34 A.M. Two rockets hit open areas in Sdot Negev Regional Council. A mortar shell explodes near the Gaza border fence, in Eshkol Regional Council; no casualties reported. (Shirley Seidler)
11:21 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in Eshkol Regional Council.
10:18 A.M. Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk tells Al Jazeera that the Palestinian factions have agreed not to adhere to additional temporary cease-fires in Gaza.
"Our primary efforts are now focused on international and European attempts to reach a long-term truce between the sides," he said.
Marzouk stated that temporary breaks in fighting have only allowed Israel time to expand its range of demands. "Israel only understands the language of force and resistance, and continues with the war of attrition to achieve goals," he added. Marzouk noted that the militants continue to manufacture rockets.
Nevertheless, Marzouk said that there is no military solution to the conflict in Gaza, and that a political agreement would have to be reached eventually. Hamas is working on a unified draft focusing on "resistance" that would allow the Palestinians to "continue the struggle to liberate Jerusalem and the occupied territories," he said. (Jack Khoury)
10:07 A.M. The Iron Dome intercepts a rocket fired toward the Ashkelon region. Earlier a rocket exploded in a wooded area near a town in Sdot Negev Regional Council, causing a fire. (Shirley Seidler)
9:56 A.M. A man wounded in a rocket attack in Ashdod on Friday night remains in critical condition. (Shirley Seidler)
9:45 A.M. Rocket intercepted over Sdot Negev Regional Council; another explodes in a town nearby. (Shirley Seidler)
9:37 A.M. Three rockets explode in open areas in Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
9:27 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.
9:21 A.M. Palestinian medical officials report that three were killed in a strike on a house in a Gaza City suburb early on Saturday. One of the dead was a 47-year-old woman; the other two have yet to be identified. Several were wounded in the incident.
Another man who was wounded in an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis has died of his wounds, according medical officials.
8:52 A.M. Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, two senior officials in the group said Saturday. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.
Early Saturday, a senior Hamas leader, Moussa Abu Marzouk, wrote on his Facebook page that "Hamas has signed the paper" of support Abbas had requested. Another Hamas official, Izzat Rishq, confirmed the document was signed. Abu Marzouk's post was reported on Hamas news websites. (AP)
8:30 A.M. Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal acknowledges that members of his organization killed three Israeli teenagers in June, while noting that the group's leadership was unaware of the attack ahead of time.
"We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance," he told Yahoo News. "But we understand people are frustrated under the occupation and the oppression, and they take all kinds of action."
He states that Hamas is against killing civilians and vowed to only target Israeli military sites once the group gets more sophisticated weapons. Read full article
7:00 A.M. Three rockets hit open areas near a town in Sdot Negev Regional Council; no casualties or damage reported. (Shirley Seidler)
6:56 A.M. Israeli air strikes target three Gaza mosques used for terrorist activity, the IDF says. Attacks across Gaza continue. (Gili Cohen)
6:24 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Gaza border towns.
4:58 A.M. Three Palestinians were killed and 10 injured in an Israeli airstrike on a house in central Gaza, medics and witnesses said early Saturday.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said a 47-year-old woman and two men were killed in the strike on al-Zawayda town.
He also said about 40 civilians were injured in another airstrike on the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City overnight. (DPA)
1:17 A.M. According to the IDF, the mortar shell that killed a 4-year-old boy was not fired from a school used by UNRWA as a shelter for refugees. "After further review, the school the mortar was launched near from is not being used as a shelter by UNRWA but rather a shelter maintained by Hamas authorities in Gaza," IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner tweeted. (Haaretz)
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