News / Middle East

    Casualties Mount as Israel Presses Ground Campaign in Gaza

    Casualties Mount as Israel Presses Ground Campaign in Gazai
    X
    Gabe Joselow
    July 19, 2014 3:49 PM
    Israel says it has killed at least 17 militants in combat since beginning ground operations in Gaza against the Palestinian group Hamas. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of the escalating conflict.
    Casualties Mount as Israel Presses Ground Campaign in Gaza
    Gabe Joselow

    Israel's ground operation in the Gaza Strip continued into its third day Saturday, as Israeli troops backed by tanks, aircraft and navy ships strike an array of targets including tunnels used by Hamas fighters.

    Israel's military says it has hit some 200 terrorist targets since the operation began late Thursday, including more than 20 tunnels used to infiltrate Israel and smuggle weapons and explosives.

    The military says more than 20 militants have been killed in the offensive.

    Late Friday, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the Gaza crisis.

    Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour said Israel is committing war crimes and human rights violations against the Palestinian people. Israel's U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, said Israel was left with no choice but to launch its offensive into Gaza, saying the goal is to degrade Hamas' terror capabilities. He said Hamas has "rejected every overture to restore the quiet."

    US shows support, urges restraint for Israel

    U.S. President Barack Obama says he has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "no nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders," as Israeli troops backed by tanks, aircraft and navy ships continued to advance into the Gaza Strip.

    Speaking at the White House Friday, the president told reporters he made clear during a phone conversation with Netanyahu that the understanding is that the ground operation will destroy tunnels that Hamas militants are using to attack Israel.

    "We are hopeful that Israel will continue to approach this process in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and that all of us are working hard to return to the cease-fire that was reach in November of 2012," he said.

    Ground incursion escalates

    The ground incursion has escalated a conflict that began last week when Israel began air strikes in Gaza targeting Hamas positions. Palestinian militants have continued to launch a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. Many of the rockets, however, were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense shield.

    "In the last 11 days we've struck about 2,100 targets and there have been over 1,500 rockets launched from Gaza. So this is the playing ground, this is [what] we are in the midst of, and this is the challenge we are facing today," said Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner.

    Palestinian officials say at least 35 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the ground offensive. More than 290 Palestinians have died since July 8, when Israel expanded its airstrikes in Gaza in an attempt to stop rocket fire into Israel.

    Two Israelis have died, including a soldier in the ground operation and a civilian in a rocket attack.

    Netanyahu told his Cabinet Friday that the military has been instructed to prepare for a possible widening of the ground operations.
     
    Israel has mobilized an additional 18,000 reservists adding to nearly 40,000 already called up.
     
    Seeking shelter

    Thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter at United Nations schools in Gaza to escape the fighting. Many left their homes after being alerted by Israeli leaflets and phone calls of the impending operations.
     
    Taher Assar lives in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza with his wife and five children. He said they spent a fearful night without power as the sounds of F-16s, tanks and rockets roared all around them.
     
    "This war is not going to lead to anything it's just like the last one and the one before and every time it does not lead to anything, it leads to another war after. So I hope things will be sorted out and find a political solution for the issue because a military solution is not going to solve the problem," said Assar.
     
    Diplomatic efforts to forge a comprehensive cease-fire deal between the warring parties are ongoing. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has traveled to Turkey to try to get Istanbul to exert its perceived influence over Hamas.
     
    An Egyptian-brokered deal agreed to by Israel earlier this week fell through after Hamas said its representatives were left out of the consultations. Hamas has called for the lifting of an Israeli blockade on Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners as part of any long-term truce.

    VOA's Mike Richman contributed to this report.

     

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: micheal from: nigeria
    July 19, 2014 2:25 AM
    live isreal alone iet him do what he knows best wipe out terrorist negosiate with Abbas let Abbas rule on all palestinians this fight is for Abbas

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 18, 2014 2:32 PM
    Right now no one should be talking about truce any more. Even the Palestinians in Gaza agree that it leads to nowhere but more wars after one. Israel should at the same time reject Obama's suggestion of destroying only the tunnels while allowing the Hamas militants remain intact to prepare for more wars in no distant future. Capital NO, Mr. President. The solution should be to grant Israel enhanced powers to sieve through Gaza and filter out all the militants. The world should reject an embedded Palestine inside of Israel, especially if it is Hamas.

    Now we see that Abbas unity government was a ruse and that he is not in control of anything, not Hamas, not Islamic Jihad, not Fatr movement. He may not be in charge of his sitting room, much less to control his wife's kitchen for all you may know. Running to Turkey does not save his face. He, like the rest of the exasperated Palestinians - even those putting up bold face to claim they still support Hamas - should be sincere, speak out against Hamas and support Israel's campaign to sanitize the region of one of the world's deadliest and most dangerous terrorist group, Hamas.
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 18, 2014 3:48 PM
    I disagree .Israel should not target civilian. if they believe that tunnel is used to assemble and firing missile,,,is real has to destroy it. Israel has to guard the border from Saini and Gaza. No need to kill people indiscriminately. Second point , once there are millions live in Gaza without food ,job, and housing. The conflict will continue and It will exploded in future.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 18, 2014 2:30 PM
    The Hamas Rockets is not effective. It is a joke. After 10 days of hostiles and many civilian has been killed. Israel has to stop and ask Hamas To negotiate.. There is a lot of people suffering . . If we talk about terrorist organization. ,We should look about those who is supplying them with money , and weapons .Rather keep Israel attacking towns and kill people indiscriminately .Regan asked Israel to stop attacking Lebanon after he saw the tragedy of people killed. . We should discourage Israel to continue. Ten days is enough .find another means rather than killing

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora