Photo: AFP
IAF attack in Gaza
Photo: AFP

IDF strikes: 1,535 targets hit in Op Protective Edge

At least 170 killed in Gaza as Israel continues military response to rocket fire from Gaza, Syria and launches Patriot missile at Hamas drone.

The IDF spokesperson confirmed Monday afternoon that day seven of Operation Protective Edge has included some 100 attacks on terrorist targets throughout the Gaza strip. The spokesman added that the total number of attacks over all seven days has reached 1,535.


Five Palestinians were killed Monday evening, Palestinians reported.



The Air Force spent day seven of the operation launching precision strikes on 33 rocket launching strikes, eight weapons manufacturing facilities and four houses belonging to Hamas commanders that were being used as command centers for attacks on Israel.


The IAF also hit seven smuggling tunnels in continuing efforts to compromise Hamas' abilities to rearm while the Navy also joined in on military action by hitting medium range rocket launching sites in the Strip.


Smoke rises in a Gaza street after IDF air attack. (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Smoke rises in a Gaza street after IDF air attack. (Photo: AFP)


But Gaza wasn't the only front for Israel on Monday. The IDF responded to rocket fire in the northern Golan Heights by hitting suspicious positions across the border in Syria. A small fire had broken out where one of the rockets had hit in a town in the Golan.


Meanwhile a senior military source said Monday that the IDF had destroyed 3,000 of 9,000 rockets that were in Gaza at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge and added that great efforts were being made to avoid civilian casualties.


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"The IDF hasn't attacked dozens of rocket launching pits that hold hundreds of rockets because of the danger of hitting civilians," said the source.


The current number of dead and wounded in Gaza seemed disputed Monday as the military source claimed that some 180 Palestinians had so far been killed in the operation and cited that half of them were Hamas affiliated terrorists.


The UN had a similar figure of dead at 177 as of Monday, but included that 1/4 of that figure were children. Health officials in Gaza said that 1,280 Palestinians had been wounded over the seven days of military action.


Earlier in the day, Palestinian media published photos of Israel allegedly taken by a Hamas drone that was shot down over Ashdod by a Patriot missile defense battery. The Patriot missile launch marked its first interception since the early 1990s.


Photo of Israel from a Hamas UAV that was downed by a Patriot missile.
Photo of Israel from a Hamas UAV that was downed by a Patriot missile.


Hamas claimed responsibility for the aerial incursion and claimed that its members had launched several UAVs from Gaza. Palestinian sources close to Hamas said "the aerial vehicles penetrated deep into Israel, more than 60 km away from Gaza."


The incident was the first time the militant group publicly acknowledged that it has drones in its arsenal. Hamas claimed that it intended to strike targets including the Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv, though it was unclear if the drones were armed and if the organization is technologically capable of such an attack.


Meanwhile diplomatic efforts to put an end to the military conflict were stepped up Monday and talk of ceasefire and possible conditions began to take form.


"There are many signs that Hamas wants a ceasefire along the lines of the agreement signed after Pillar of Defense," said a senior security official.


Hamas however, told the AFP that a substantial agreement was still well out of reach. "Talk of a ceasefire requires real and serious efforts, which we haven't seen so far," said Hamas MP Mushir al-Masri.


Israeli MK Karmel Shama took a similar viewpoint from the Israeli side saying, "There's no way that Hamas will agree to de-militarization yet. (We need to) let the IDF continue fighting."


International Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair plans to meet with President Shimon Peres on Tuesday while US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he would make an un-planned visit to Egypt to discuss efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement.


AFP contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 07.14.14, 21:16
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