News / Middle East

    Israel Resumes Gaza Shelling; UN Security Council to Meet

    A Palestinian man salvages belongings from damaged buildings in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes, in Gaza City July 27, 2014.
    A Palestinian man salvages belongings from damaged buildings in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes, in Gaza City July 27, 2014.
    Scott Bobb

    Israeli forces began shelling in the Gaza Strip late Sunday hours after Hamas declared a 24-hour cease-fire.  The Israeli government said it was resuming military operations because Palestinian fighters had not observed previous calls for a truce. 

    Also, the U.N. Security Council has agreed to a declaration calling for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in the war-torn enclave and plan to adopt it at a meeting planned for midnight (0400 GMT).

    Rwanda, the current council president, announced agreement Sunday on a presidential statement that also calls on the parties “to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected cease-fire, based on the Egyptian initiative," The Associated Press reported.

    The council will meet as Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

    The presidential statement, obtained by AP, said the humanitarian cease-fire would allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance. It urges Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid period and beyond.”

    Sunday news show

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told television viewers on the U.S.-based CBS program Face the Nation that Hamas had violated several previous cease-fires by continuing to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel.
     
    "They violated their own cease-fire and they are firing at us as we speak.  So Israel is not obliged and will not let a terrorist organization to decide when it's convenient for them to stop for a moment, rearm and continue firing on our citizens and our people," he said.
     
    The Hamas group that controls Gaza had declared a 24-hour temporary cease-fire, until midday Monday as residents prepared to mark the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and atonement.   

    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that  in response to the assessment of the United Nations and taking into consideration the condition of our people in Gaza, especially in light of the coming Eid holiday, there was discussion between the factions.   He said they have reached an agreement to accept the offer of a 24-hour humanitarian calm, starting from two o'clock Sunday.
     
    Five cease-fires have been proposed since the fighting began nearly three weeks ago.  Except for a 12-hour pause on Saturday, none have been observed by both parties.

    Death toll

    Palestinian officials said more than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed and about 6,000 wounded in the conflict, most of them civilians.
     
    Israel says 43 of its soldiers have been killed as well as three civilians.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both Israel and the Palestinians "in the strongest terms" to continue the cease-fire and then observe it. He said the violence has "killed too many, marred so many lives and caused such destruction.
     
    Israel launched the operation in Gaza to destroy rocket-launching installations and infiltration tunnels into Israel.  The military says more than 30 tunnels have been destroyed.
     
    Western diplomats have been trying to negotiate an Egyptian proposal that would allow a one-week cease-fire.  But each side has posed conditions that the other side does not appear ready to accept.
     
    Israel wants a demilitarized Gaza, while Hamas says Israel should end its blockade of the enclave and cease all aggression.
     
    Several thousand Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv Saturday night for an end to the fighting.
     
    At the same time, several hundred protestors staged a counter-demonstration nearby in support of the Israeli military operation. 

    Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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    Comments
         
    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 27, 2014 11:17 PM
    For days and hrs Israel has been holding fire, on the ceasefire that Hamas has repeatedly broken. As soon as Israel has enough of it, and starts fire suppression action, now Hamas decides to call for a ceseafire; each time Hamas has called a ceasefire, in this conflict, it violates it.
    A comprehensive ceasefire is seating on the table in Cario prepared by the Egyptian gvmt, that Israel has fully endorsed and fully accepts, yet Hamas has decided not to act on it.
    On the school incident- Videographic evidence has now surfaced, that Israeli artillery did not target or fire on the UN school as it was originally reported, by Hamas.
    I was suspicious about it, but until contrary evidence shows up, one gives the information a wide berth.
    The reason I was suspicious, is that Israel's artillery guns arsenal has- the 105 mm Howitzer, the 120mm and the 155 mm, long caliber. If any of Israel's artillery had deliberatly targeted the school, it would have pulverized the school, no survivors would exist.
    A 155mmm makes a crater greater than 8 double decker buses parked side by side in a square formation, almost as big as an Olympic size swiming pool; the 105, at the other end of the range, makes a crater the size of a very large swiming pool.
    If a 155 is targeted and hits a building, it penetrates the building, and as the round explodes a 5 storey building of 40 meters by 40 metres becomes a total pile of rubble. a 105 would do the same to a 3 strorey building of about 20 meters by 20 meters. So for any one to say that Israeli artillery targeted the school is total propaganda and such statement is an outright lie.
    The video evidence shows no such targeting. It does show terrorists launching rockets, at about 10-15 metres from the school, the terrorist position does not show a 105, or a 155 creater.
    Video taken internaly in the school, and I reviewed various news media clips, shows a room with a large massive amount of blood on the floor, and smaller blood pools, that is were the unfortunate victims must have fallen. It also shows large shards of glass, at least 10 mm in thickness, and about 0,5 metres long, the size of swords. More shards of glass are scaterred throughout the room.
    The tell tale story is told by the security bars on the windows- neither the security bars nor the window frames, are bent/norcut/nor deformed/nordestroyed. Indicating that a rather small explosive force reached the building and broke the glass in large shards, the explosion must have taken place some distance from the Window (otherwise the gass shards would be in very small pieces); probably a mortar hit some distance from the building; mortars are not long range weapons, and are not accurate weapons, they are high trajectory/short distance weapons, upon landing they spread sharpnel, they do not create large creaters, maybe 1/2 mt radius on thin pavement.
    All in all Hamas has continued to affect negatively the situation in Gaza to the detriment of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
    The US has the technical resources to look at the facts, on the school incident, and do a far better analysis/summary than I have, from watching a few news clipps..

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 27, 2014 11:05 PM
    SEE?.... Israel doesn't have to indiscriminately bomb and destroy everything, and kill everybody in Gaza. if they don't want to.... Now Israel just has to work up the courage to go into Gaza and take out Hamas using ground troops? .... (no matter what)... Israel has lost it's myth of invincibility, and Hamas is becoming legendary in the Arab world..... Arab pride?

    by: Iris from: Miami
    July 27, 2014 8:42 PM
    Someone recently observef. , "The State of Israel uses arms - iron dime - to protect its citizens while Gaza uses citizens to protect its arms .remember , isrAel withdrew from Gaza, supped building materials to help. ; ( and used for tunnels) , Gaza even now with electricity and treats the wounded fr Gaza and Israel alike.

    by: kins Ojoh from: Kampala
    July 27, 2014 5:55 PM
    Sami Abu Zuhri said that, ' in response to the assessment of the United Nations and taking into consideration the condition of our people in Gaza, especially in light of the coming Eid holiday, there is a need for a ceasefire', UN believable..they could not accept early ceasefire when children and women were dying, now they want a holiday to eat . what a war tactic

    by: Anonymous
    July 27, 2014 4:49 PM
    Im not on either side, what I can tell you is that Israel has always been aggressive towards Palestinians in what little they have called "Gaza". Of course Palestinians will always fight back with Israel forever and ever. Israel is a disgrace , after ww2 what happened to them you would think they would promote peace. Instead what we see today and in the past is Israel bombing cities and other populated areas, killing civilians that have NOTHING to do with the war. Collateral damage? What a disgrace to all mankind. It is not the Israeli people but instead the Israeli government and their decisions that are actually criminal. Regardless if Palestinians threw rocks, or even rockets in some situations, you don't just send jets in to bombard civilian populated areas within gaza, you go after the source of the problem. By Israel bombing civilian areas and killing many civilians it only creates more hatred.

    Why can't Israel become a good neighbor and set an example to the world that they can get along? Until they do this there will forever be a war in the middle east. This is a disgrace.

    All I ever see is Palestinians throwing rocks at Israelis with machine guns, obviously Israel has some very bad motives.
    Heck they even bulldoze civilians homes.

    As a westerner, I am disgusted in Israel's actions. Perhaps if the leader of Israel had a relative in Gaza maybe they would have some respect for the people there.

    Completely disgusting.

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    July 27, 2014 11:14 AM
    Of what point is the 24 hours cease fire? Israel should continue its operation and also using the tunnels to go after Hamas fighters including arrest so when Hamas calls for prisoner exchange they will get arrested during this operation and not those held before now and a gradual process of lifting the Siege on Gaza for life only without the existence of Hamas and its fellow fighters.

    by: Aded from: Dhoha
    July 27, 2014 9:55 AM
    Very very sad news!

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