Thursday, July 10, 2014

Israel/Gaza: Israel Calls Up 40,000 Reservists for Ground Invasion

According to The Latin American Tribune, at least 81 Palestinians have died and more than 500 have been wounded since Israel launched a major military operation this week in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said on Thursday (July 10).

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 567 people have been wounded since the start of Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday (July 8), twenty of whom are in critical condition.

The fatalities include seven people--four women and three children--who died when several homes in the southern town of Khan Younis were hit by an Israeli airstrike, in what was the deadliest single bombing raid since the offensive began.

Three youths also died in an Israeli airstrike while traveling through the Jabaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Two-thirds of the fatalities have been women and children who were killed in Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure, according to witnesses and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra added that the number of civilian casualties had increased over the past 48 hours as the Israeli military pounded residential buildings from the air and groups of people gathered along the coast from the sea.

Israel’s air and naval artillery forces launched more than 108 airstrikes on Thursday (July 10) and have struck 750 targets since the operation began, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel says it launched Operation Protective Edge to prevent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

COMMENT: The IDF says Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have fired 360 rockets at Israel, 67 of which were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defense system.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, on Thursday morning claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks against Tel Aviv.

No casualties have been reported in the Palestinian attacks, which on Thursday activated alarm sirens in Tel Aviv and for the first time in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, 165 kilometers (100 miles) from Gaza, and in Dimona, a city in the Negev desert where Israel has a nuclear reactor.
Dozens of Israelis have been treated for anxiety and panic symptoms.

On Wednesday (July 9), Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, vowed to increase attacks on Gaza.

Israel has been massing troops on the border with the Gaza Strip and has called up 40,000 reservists as it prepares to launch a ground offensive.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned of the dangers of escalation and said the peace process was at stake, as the UN Security Council prepared to meet on Thursday in an emergency session to discuss the situation.