Tens of thousands attend the funeral of IDF lone soldier Nissim Sean Carmeli, from Texas, at the military cemetery in Haifa. (Photo: Flash90) Tens of thousands attend the funeral of IDF lone soldier Nissim Sean Carmeli, from Texas, at the military cemetery in Haifa. (Photo: Flash90)

The death toll in Gaza rises as IDF destroys terror infrastructure. Also, a weapons shipment in the Dead Sea was blocked and a man was severely wounded in Samaria.


Soldiers comfort each other on death of comrades. (Photo: IDF)

As of Tuesday morning, 27 Israeli soldiers and officers, as well as two civilians, were killed since the launch last Thursday of the IDF ground mission of Operation Protective Edge.

IDF forces continue to move slowly through the Gaza neighborhoods of Shuja’iya, Jabalya and Beit Lahiya, searching for terror tunnels, weapons caches and terrorist command and control centers. The fighting is fierce and intense.

Over the past 24 hours, the IDF conducted a terror-eliminating mission in Shuja’iya, a neighborhood renowned for its high concentration of terrorist activities. The IDF has targeted some 310 targets, 100 of which in Shuja’iya. Meanwhile, more than 139 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel. At least 116 hit Israel; 17 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

IDF Determined to Destroy Terror Tunnels

Among the targets was a weapon cache and military compound, which was utilized as a gathering point for Hamas terrorists, all concealed within a mosque in Rafah. An additional mosque used by the PIJ as a rocket storage facility, operations room, and gathering point, was targeted as well. This along with some 40 rocket launching facilities, 50 command and control centers, and additional strikes conducted to assist ground forces.


An injured soldier is evacuated by helicopter on Monday. (Photo: Flash90)

The IDF is determined to destroy as many tunnels as possible, eliminating this eminent threat to the citizens of Israel.  Since July 17, the IDF has uncovered 23 terror tunnels.

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, more than 2,040 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, of which nearly 1,600 hit Israel and 396 were intercepted by Iron Dome. The IDF struck 2,925 terror targets with ground, naval and aerial capabilities; 1,388 were struck during the ground phase of the operation.

As part of the operation, IDF forces uncovered 66 access shafts to some 23 Gaza tunnels intended for the launch of terror attack on Israel. Six of them were detonated in a controlled manner by the IDF.

Missiles Stored at Hospitals, Schools and Kindergartens

On Monday, a cache of anti-tank missiles which was stored in the immediate vicinity of Al-Aqsa hospital was also targeted by the IDF.

“Hamas has openly boasted the so-called success of its strategy to exploit civilians as human shields. The IDF is facing an enemy keen on using the densely populated Gaza Strip as a terrorist launching site, often firing at Israel from within schools, hospitals, mosques, and other civilian facilities,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF spokesman.

During the course of Operation Protective Edge, 183 terrorists were killed by the ground operation, including 20 during the past night; 28 have been arrested and taken to Israel for questioning.

terror tunnel

Weapons found inside a Hamas terror tunnel. (Photo: IDF)

Speaking to Sky Arabic, Fox and NBC last night, Prim Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “They [Hamas] have taken billions of dollars. Instead of building kindergartens with it, they’re building tunnels, concrete tunnels to blow up our kindergartens. I can tell you that we opened up a hospital, a field hospital, a humanitarian field hospital on the edge of Gaza, and Hamas doesn’t let the people come there. They’re hiding rockets in hospitals; they’re hiding arms in hospitals; they’re shooting from hospitals. So they just don’t care. I agreed now to three different calls for ceasefires. We kept them even though Hamas kept firing, and they violated every one of those ceasefire calls: the Egyptian ceasefire, the UN ceasefire, the Red Cross ceasefire. We kept them, they broke them. The goal is to restore quiet and security for the people of Israel for a significant period of time and we’ll take whatever action is necessary to achieve that goal.”

Reports of a long-term humanitarian cease fire are coming from Arab sources, but Israel has not confirmed them.

Terror on More Fronts: Dead Sea, Judea and Samaria

On other fronts in Israel, the IDF intercepted in a shipment of weapons in the Dead Sea, which was sent from unknown operatives in Jordan to Palestinian terrorists, a military source said.

At about 3 am, a Palestinian terrorist shot and severely injured a 25 year-old Israeli male civilian in Judea and Samaria. IDF Forces have been searching the area.

Four rockets were fired from Gaza overnight towards Be’er Sheva. One was intercepted by Iron Dome and three hit open areas. Earlier in the evening, a rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area near the Arab village of Kafr Qasim in central Israel, nearly 100 km. from Gaza.

Compiled by United with Israel Staff. With files from the IDF and Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency.