LIVE UPDATES: Operation Protective Edge, day 15
IDF death toll rises to 29; FAA places 24-hour ban on U.S. flights to Israel; many European airlines also suspend flights; sirens sound in south and central Israel, West Bank; EU calls for disarmament of Hamas, all terror groups in Gaza; UN chief urges Israel to exercise restraint; more than 600 Palestinians reported dead, 27 today.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its third week on Tuesday, and the IDF's ground incursion into the Gaza Strip moved into its fifth day.
Nine IDF soldiers were killed on Monday, raising the number of Israeli military fatalities since the operation commenced to 27.
At least 130 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its ground operation, raising the recent escalation's death toll in Gaza to 604, with 3,700 wounded.
International efforts to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will resume Tuesday, following Monday’s arrival in the region of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The topic of discussion will be another humanitarian cease-fire, in the hope that if both sides agree, it will then be possible to move forward toward a lasting cease-fire based on the Egyptian proposal.
SUBSCRIBE TO HAARETZ AND GET FULL COVERAGE
7:52 A.M. Senior Israeli officer tells Haaretz: IDF attacked 20 'terror targets' in Gaza overnight, 20 terrorists killed in the past 24 hours. (Gili Cohen)
6:53 A.M. Rocket siren sounded in Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol regional councils. (Haaretz)
5:11 A.M. Two Israeli soldiers were killed Tuesday evening in fighting in Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit says. The deceased are Capt. Dmitry Levitas, 26, of Jerusalem and Geshur and 1st Lt. Natan Cohen, 23, of Modiin. They were both officers in the IDF armored corps. They were killed by sniper fire in the Gaza Strip. Over the last 24 hours, three soldiers were seriously wounded, nine were moderately wounded, and eight sustained light wounds. Since the Gaza operation began, 29 soldiers and officers were killed. (Haaretz)
4:44 A.M. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg urges the reversal of the U.S. ban on flights to Israel, and says he will board a flight to Tel Aviv in solidarity with Israeli people.
4:35 A.M. Palestine Liberation Organization senior official Yasser Abed Rabbo says PLO endorses supports Hamas' demands for halting Gaza hostilities.
"The Gaza demands of stopping the aggression and lifting the blockade in all its forms are the demands of the entire Palestinian people and they represent the goal that the Palestinian leadership has dedicated all its power to achieve," Abd Rabbo says in Ramallah, the West Bank.
"We are confident Gaza will not be broken as long as our people are standing beside it to support it through all possible means until the invaders understand that our great people inside the homeland and outside will not leave Gaza alone." (Reuters)
3:05 A.M. For the first time since an unprecedented diplomatic rift among Gulf powerhouses, Qatar's emir flew to Saudi Arabia late Tuesday in a surprise visit and met with King Abdullah to discuss the Gaza cease-fire efforts.
A senior Saudi official told The Associated Press that Saudi Crown Prince Salman, and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin also attended the meetings with Qatar's Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the coastal city of Jiddah. (AP)
11:16 P.M. The UN Human Rights Council is slated to hold a meeting Wednesday morning over the IDF operation in Gaza, and is expected to issue a severe condemnation of Israel, to include operative steps. The Palestinians and Arab countries have filed the Council with a draft, which includes the establishment of an international commission of inquiry to probe alleged war crimes and violations of international law by Israel. The draft does not mention Hamas.
Despite Israeli lobbying with the Council's member states to prevent the meeting taking place, the Palestinians managed to get the signatures necessary to hold the meeting. The U.S., most of the EU states and additional Western states, including Australia and Canada, are expected to oppose the draft. However, the Palestinians are believed to have a majority. (Barak Ravid)
11:06 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene to resume U.S. flights to Israel, sources in the Prime Minister's Office say. Earlier it was reported that the FAA prohibited all U.S. airlines from flying to and from Ben-Gurion Airport "for a period of up to 24 hours."(Barak Ravid)
10:52 P.M. An unexploded rocket lands near a house in Rahat in southern Israel. Damage was caused to the house, and three people suffered from shock. On Tuesday, 67 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israeli territory, and 18 rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome. (Shirly Seidler, Gili Cohen)
10:42 P.M. Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Tel Aviv turns back, airline halts flights for 24 hours. (Reuters)
10:27 P.M. Rocket alert sirens in Be'er Sheva.
10:20 P.M. IDF bombs the Khan Younis house of Mohammed Deif, head of Hamas' military wing, according to Palestinian sources.
10:07 P.M. Two Palestinian gunmen open fire at Givati Brigade soldiers in southern Gaza. No soldiers wounded, and the Palestinians were killed in returned fire. (Gili Cohen)
10:04 P.M. Four rockets explode in open areas in the Be'er Sheva area. No damages. (Shirly Seidler)
9:57 P.M. Sirens sound in southern city of Be'er Sheva, surrounding areas.
9:54 P.M. Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour appealed on Tuesday for the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a cease-fire.
"The council must play its rightful role and contribute to the urgent efforts to secure a ceasefire," Mansour said.
"The Security Council still has a responsibility to act to stop the slaughter of innocent men, women and children ... We are not numbers, we are human beings," an emotional Mansour said, showing the council photos of Palestinian civilian victims. (Reuters)
9:26 P.M. Europe Air Safety Agency (EASA) to issue "strong recommendation" to avoid Ben-Gurion International Airport until further notice. (Reuters)
9:22 P.M. France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the death toll exceeding 600 in Gaza is not acceptable, and calls for the "massacres and attacks" to stop immediately.
"It was not acceptable that a country was threatened by missiles and that missiles landed on it, but the response must be proportionate," Fabius told TF1 television.
"When we are talking about 600 dead, it is obviously something that we can't accept. The massacres and attacks must stop immediately."(Reuters)
9:18 P.M. Barrage of rockets fired at south and central Israel
9:17 P.M. Rocket intercepted over Bat Yam, another rocket explodes in open area in Gan Raveh in southern Israel. (Gili Cohen)
9:15 P.M. UNRWA discovers a hidden rocket cache in an abandoned school for the second time in a week. UNRWA states in a press release that the abandoned school was located between two schools, and "strongly and unequivocally" condemned the group responsible for storing the rockets there.
UNRWA says it will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. (Barak Ravid)
9:01 P.M. Air Canada cancels tonight's departing flight and tomorrow's return flight to Israel, following the lead of U.S. and European airlines.
8:59 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in West Bank, central Israel and southern Israel.
8:52 P.M. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, pilots from El Al, Arkia Israel Airlines and other foreign airlines reported daily attempts to blind them, which originated from Qalqiyah, Jaljulia and Kfar Qasim.
Police are handling the complaints and transferring them to the Counter-Terrorism Unit. (Yaniv Kubovich)
8:36 P.M. Israel's Transportation Ministry called on the airlines to reverse their decision and said it was trying to explain that the airport was "safe for landings and departures."
"Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize," it said in a statement. (Haaretz)
8:28 P.M. Lufthansa Airlines - which includes Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss Air - suspends flights to Ben-Gurion International Airport for 36 hours. (Reuters)
8:25 P.M. KLM airlines cancelling Tuesday's flight to Israel. Air France indefinitely suspends flights to Israel. (Reuters)
Cancelled Air France Flight 1320 to Tel Aviv (Credit: AP)
7:59 P.M. IDF retracts previous statement: Rocket landed in urban area in Yehud. (Gili Cohen)
7:49 P.M. 28 foreign ministers from the European Union issue joint statement calling for the disarmament of all terror organizations in Gaza. (Barak Ravid)
7:41 P.M. The FAA prohibits all U.S. airlines from flying to and from Ben-Gurion International Airport "for a period of up to 24 hours."
6:38 P.M. Police deny IDF claims that Yehud rocket from earlier today was intercepted. (Ido Efrati)
6:20 P.M. Staff Sergeant Avitar Torjamin, killed in action Tuesday morning, will be buried at Mount Herzl tonight at 10:30 P.M., according to the IDF Spokesman. (Gili Cohen)
5:57 P.M. Delta Airlines and U.S. Airways suspend flights to and from Israel on Tuesday. This follows a warning from the Federal Aviation Authority given after a rocket fell earlier Tuesday in Yehud, near Ben-Gurion International Airport. United Airlines announced it will continue operating as usual.
A Delta Airlines flight from New York to Israel landed in Paris following the decision. U.S. Air has relocated planes currently at Ben-Gurion airport tonight's planned flight has been canceled. (Zohar Blumenkrantz)
5:21 P.M. Colonel Uri Gordon, Nahal Brigade commander, spoke with reporters and said, "in all encounters with Hamas, we win. We have located the majority of the tunnels, but have not completed the mapping and destruction."
Gordon added, "we have quite a few casualties. Hamas fights with full force. They have tried to abduct soldiers, thankfully without success."
4:50 P.M. UN chief at press conference with Netanyahu: I urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint.
4:43 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at joint press conference with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: "The people of Gaza are the victims of the brutal Hamas regime."
4:20 P.M. Two rockets intercepted over Be'er Sheva, one rocket explodes in an open area.
4:12 P.M. Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon tells UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Hamas violates international law by using missiles against Israeli civilians and using civilians as human shields.
Ya'alon claims Israel does the maximum to avoid civilian casualties, but its almost impossible to avoid this in Gaza, since Hamas fires rockets from populated areas.
He offered to show Ban "how Hamas fired rockets from schools and mosques, and how they dug tunnels to attack our communities."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon: "I appreciate Israel's security concerns. You need to protect your people from rockets and I strongly condemn the rocket fire. But your military response is causing many civilian casualties. I hope we will be able to see the end of this violence as soon as possible."
"My message during this visit was first, stop the violence immediately. Second, return to dialogue, and third, we need to address the root causes of this conflict. Returning to the status quo will not bring a solution." (Barak Ravid)
4:06 P.M. IDF releases name of IDF soldier killed Tuesday in Gaza: Staff Sergeant Avitar Moshe Torjamin, 20, from Beit She'an. Turgeman is the 28th soldier killed in Gaza. (Haaretz)
4:03 P.M. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Egyptian cease-fire initiative is the framework for any Gaza truce, according to Cairo. Kerry said talks have been constructive so far, and he will continue to work in the coming days towards a cease-fire. (AP and Reuters)
4:00 P.M. Rapid rocket barrage fired at Be'er Sheva and surrounding areas, many of them Bedouin towns. (Haaretz)
3:58 P.M. Germany's Foreign Ministry says it appears that a German-Palestinian family has been killed in Gaza.
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who did not give her name in accordance with government policy, said Tuesday that "based on multiple concurring indications, we understand that the family lost their lives."
She gave no other details.
German media reports have identified the family as a Palestinian couple and their five children who all carry German passports. The reports says all seven were killed in a recent air strike by the Israeli army. (AP)
3:33 P.M. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi met Tuesday afternoon in Cairo to discuss the situation in Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited wounded soldiers hospitalized at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
"The entire nation of Israel embraces you and sends you blessings for a speedy recovery," Netanyahu said. "You were injured while on the most important mission - protecting our house."
IDF says 25 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israeli territories since midnight. Fourteen landed in Israel, 10 were incercepted and another one landed in Gazan territory. (Ido Efrati and Gili Cohen)
2:30 P.M. The Israel Defense Forces says its troops have attacked more than 187 targets in the Gaza Strip over the course of Tuesday, including at least 100 in Shujaiyeh. The targets included rocket launchers, depots, militant homes being used as command centers and tunnels. According to the army, some 1,715 terrorist targets have been hit since the start of the ground operation.
It says it has uncovered 66 entrances to some 23 tunnels, and bombed the lengths of six of them. Some 28 militants are currently in IDF detention undergoing interrogation. (Gili Cohen)
Palestinians says at least 27 people have been killed by IDF attacks since midnight on Tuesday, including a 4-year-old girl in the northern Gaza Strip and two women – in their 50s and 70s – in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City. Gaza health officials put the death toll at 604 and the wounded at 3,700.
Gaza officials also say that an UNWRA school in the central Strip was damaged from an IDF strike, but that it was unclear whether it was struck directly, by shrapnel or blowback. (Jack Khoury)
1.55 P.M. UN chief Ban Ki-moon to arrive in Israel shortly to push forward efforts for a cease-fire. He will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, before coming back to Israel to meet with senior officials. (Barak Ravid) Read full article
1:42 P.M. IDF releases name of soldier classified as missing since attack on APC in Gaza: Oron Shaul, 20. Read full article
12:50 P.M. Shas chairman Aryeh Deri asserts that Israel should press on with the operation in Gaza. "We should either evacuate the towns in the Gaza vicinity or destroy the tunnels," he added.
Israel's Justice Ministry says a hotline for complaints of incitement has not received any grievances from Israeli Arabs since the operation in Gaza began. (Jonathan Lis)
The son of Haim Yalin, Eshkol Regional Council chairman, is lightly wounded while fighting in Gaza. (Shirly Seidler)
12:20 P.M. Gaza medical officials say at least 10 people were killed overnight and early Tuesday in IDF attacks along the Strip. An Israeli aircraft fired a missile at Hamas official Nizar A-Wadallah's home in the Shati refugee camp, and the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's former deputy Ziad Adada was struck earlier in the night. (Jack Khoury)
11:58 A.M. The IDF releases the name of a reserve soldier who was killed in a clash between a paratrooper unit and gunmen in Khan Yunis on Monday: Master Sgt. Ohad Shemesh, 27, of Beit Elazari. He is to be laid to rest in the military cemetery in Mazkeret Batya. (Gili Cohen)
11:33 A.M. Al Jazeera claims that the IDF bombed its offices in Gaza. It says Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman bears responsibility for the safety of the crews. (Jack Khoury)
10:47 A.M. The IDF has released the names of six more of the soldiers killed in the Gaza Strip over the weekend: Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24 of Be'er Sheva; Staff Sgt. Shachar Tase, 20 of Pardesiya; Staff Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz 20, of Kfar Azar; Sgt. Shon Mondshine, 19 of Tel Aviv; Sgt. Ben Itzhak Oananounou, 19 of Ashdod; and Staff Sgt. Oren Simcha Noach, 22, of Hoshaya.
10:41 A.M. Update on latest rocket barrage: Rocket directly struck house in Yehud, central Israel; two suffer shock and a man lightly wounded. This is the first time a Gaza rocket has hit a building in central Israel.
10:20 A.M. Senior Israeli officials say that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Yoav Mordechai, formally told UN envoy Robert Serry that Israel rejects the proposal for a humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. (Barak Ravid)
Health of Israeli who was wounded in a shooting attack in the West Bank improves. He said to be in a light to moderate condition. (Chaim Levinson)
10:17 A.M. Rocket intercepted over central Israel; another explodes in Yehud.
10:11 A.M. One of the seven IDF soldiers inside of the APC attacked in Shujaiyeh, Gaza on Sunday has been classified as "missing," the army confirmed on Tuesday, and is presumed dead. The IDF said that the bodies of six out of the seven soldiers have been identified.
10:02 A.M. Rocket barrage fired toward central Israel.
9:56 A.M. Safed and Lod mayors suspend municipal workers who spoke out against the IDF's operation in Gaza and voiced happiness over the death of soldiers. (Gili Cohen and Eli Ashkenazi)
9:41 A.M. Senior Israeli officials: Humanitarian cease-fire not on our agenda right now. A five-hour humanitarian cease-fire was held on Friday; a similar break in gunfire was held in Gaza City's Shujaiyeh neighborhood on Sunday. (Barak Ravid)
9:31 A.M. IDF arrests 16 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, six of them Hamas operatives. (Gili Cohen)
9:29 A.M. Rocket strikes yard of Ashdod school in latest barrage, causing damage to the building. No classes were being held at the time of the strike. (Shirly Seidler)
9:15 A.M. Two soldiers wounded overnight in grenade explosion near Magen Junction, in south's Eshkol Regional Council. The IDF is investigating the incident. (Gili Cohen)
9: 11 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon and Ashdod areas, two barrages within a minute.
8:50 A.M. Senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal says that contrary to various reports, an agreement over a cease-fire has yet to be reached. "We will agree to hours-long humanitarian cease-fires, but not to a long-term truce," he said. (Jack Khoury)
8:45 A.M. According to reports in Gaza, 12 more people were killed in an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, three of whom are members of one family. The Palestinian health ministry says that 583 people have died in the Israeli operation in Gaza so far. Some 3,640 were wounded.
8:25 A.M. Some 123 Israeli soldiers wounded in the ground operation in Gaza are currently hospitalized in four medical centers across the country, including six in serious condition and three in moderate to serious condition.
Four Palestinians from Gaza are being treated at the Sheba Medical Center. (Ido Efrati)
8:00 A.M. The United States is sending $47 million in aid to Gaza "to alleviate some of the immediate humanitarian crisis," Secretary of State John Kerry says.
Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are in Cairo to support Egyptian efforts to broker a cease-fire in the escalating Israel-Gaza conflict. (DPA)
7:37 A.M. Sixteen people were rushed to Be'er Sheva's Soroka hospital overnight, including one in serious condition and two with moderate wounds. Thirty-seven soldiers are currently hospitalized at the medical center: five in serious condition, 16 in moderate condition and the rest with light wounds. Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva received 20 casualties, including two in serious condition and two in moderate condition. (Ido Efrati)
6:43 A.M. IDF forces struck some 100 targets overnight in Shujaiyeh. The majority of the targets were weapons-related, according to the IDF spokesman.
6:00 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in Gaza bordering region (Haaretz)
5:40 A.M. Sergeant First Class Oded Ben Sira, infantry soldier, 22 years old from Nir Etzion, was one of the two soldiers killed Monday. He was hit by sniper fire.
The second man was a reserve soldier who was killed in a clash between a paratroopers' unit and Palestinian gunmen near Khan Yunis. His name is yet to be released. Two soldiers were seriously wounded in the gun battle and several others sustained light to moderate wounds. According to the IDF, seven militants were killed in the incident.
5:17 A.M. Two IDF soldiers were killed in Gaza on Monday afternoon, the IDF Spokesman says, raising the number of Israeli military deaths since the beginning of the operation to 27. The soldiers' families have been informed.
In addition, three soldiers were seriously wounded and four were moderatly wounded in fighting overnight Monday.
3:55 A.M One rocket intercepted over Be'er Sheva, three others land in open areas (Shirley Seidler)
2:58 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in wider Be'er Sheva region (Haaretz)
1:14 A.M. The U.S. State Department warns Americans against traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
"The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip," the State Department says. (Reuters)
1:13 A.M. Israeli severely wounded in shooting attack in the West Bank. The 25-year-old man was found near Rachelim Junction by IDF troops who hastened to the area after receiving reports of shooting sounds. The assailants fled the scene, and IDF forces are sweeping the area.
Magen David Adom spokesperson says the man was treated for wounds sustained to his lower body, and was evacuated to Beilinson Hospital, while fully conscious.(Chaim Levinson, Haaretz)
1:11 A.M. Masked Palestinians clash with police in East Jerusalem; rioters throwing rocks, molotov cocktails. Police respond with riot-control measures. No injuries reported. (Nir hasson)
00:31 A.M. Palestinian protester killed by IDF soldiers stationed in the central West Bank; according to the IDF, Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and burning tires at troops stationed at a junction. IDF troops who were attempting to arrest one of the rioters opened fire. Palestinian who was critically wounded died in hospital. Internal investigation to be opened. (Gili Cohen)
Like us on Facebook and get articles directly in your news feed