The IDF resumed its military operation in Gaza after Hamas yet again rejected a humanitarian ceasefire for the people of Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday ordered the IDF to resume operations against the Hamas terrorists who violated the humanitarian truce that the UN had requested for the residents of Gaza.
Despite rockets and mortars fired at several civilian targets Saturday night, which severely wounded an Israeli civilian, Israel’s Security Cabinet had originally voted to extend the humanitarian ceasefire for another 24 hours at the UN’s behest, ending Sunday at 9 p.m.
“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has repeatedly called out to the civilian population of Gaza not to approach combat zones,” said an IDF spokesperson.
“Yet again Hamas is cynically exploiting the residents of Gaza in order to use them as human shields. Hamas first rejected the Egyptian ceasefire initiative and afterwards violated last week’s UN humanitarian truce. It later violated the Red Cross humanitarian truce and has rebuffed the UN request for a humanitarian truce in order to allow the residents of Gaza to prepare for Eid al-Fitr,” a government spokesperson stated.
“The IDF targets terrorist centers, but if residents are inadvertently hit, it is Hamas which is responsible, given that it has – again – violated the humanitarian truce that Israel acceded to,” he added.
Even while observing the ceasefire, IDF forces remained in Gaza to continue dismantling the terror tunnels. The result from Saturday’s operations was that the IDF unearthed four new tunnels. Each was mapped out, and specialized forces are learning how to efficiently neutralize these threats. Hundreds of terrorist weapons were found in homes, schools, mosques and hospitals throughout Gaza
Sgt. First Class (res.) Barak Refael Degorker, 27, was killed overnight by mortar fire from Gaza. Over the weekend, six more IDF soldiers were killed in the operation: Lieutenant Roi Peles, 21; Staff Sergeant Guy Levy, 21; Staff Sergeant Guy Boiland, 21; Staff Sergeant Amit Yeori, 20; Abraham Grinzweig, 20, and Staff Sergeant Gal Basson, 20.
Cpt. Liad Lavi, 22, and Chief Warrant Officer Rami Chalon, 39, both injured in battle, died of their wounds Saturday.
On Monday, five more soldiers died.
In total, 48 IDF soldiers have been killed in the fighting.
Since midnight, three rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel. Over the weekend, more than 22 rockets were fired from Gaza; at least 16 hit Israel. Sixrockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF struck over 40 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.
Since the start of Operation ‘Protective Edge’, more than 2,450 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel. The IDF has targeted over 3,747 terror targets with ground, naval and aerial capabilities, including 31 tunnels.
With files from IDF, Government Press Office and Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency