Israel, Hamas Defy Truce Calls as Gaza Toll Hits 150

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  • W460
  • W460
  • W460
  • W460

The world implored Israel and Hamas Saturday to end hostilities as warplanes pounded Gaza for a fifth straight day, killing at least 45 Palestinians, and militants replied with rockets.

Both sides have brushed off calls for a truce, and Israel is building up troops and armor on the Gaza border for a possible ground invasion.

As the Palestinian death toll hit 150, and with no Israelis killed, the U.N. Security Council unanimously urged Israel and Hamas to respect "international humanitarian laws" and stop the loss of life.

The 15-member council urged a return to the "calm and restitution of the November 2012 ceasefire", referring to Gaza's last deadly full-scale conflict.

Israel's aerial campaign -- the largest and deadliest since 2012 -- saw strikes start early on Saturday, including one that hit a center for the handicapped, and another that killed two nephews of Gaza's former Hamas premier, Ismail Haniya.

Rockets fired from Gaza targeted Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with several intercepted over Israel's commercial capital and Jerusalem-bound projectiles hitting two southern West Bank cities.

Hundreds of rockets have so far caused no Israeli deaths, and many have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

In the latest attack, at least 15 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza City late on Saturday, medics in the coastal enclave said.

"At least 15 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on the Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City that hit a house and a mosque," emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Another 35 were injured in the same strike, and one more person was killed in southern Gaza's Rafah, Qudra said.

An attack on the northern Gaza Strip hit a center for the handicapped, killing two disabled women and wounding four, the center's director said.

"They didn't understand what was happening and they were so frightened," Jamila Alaywa said of those inside the care home.

"They fired the rocket and it hit us without any warning."

Other targets included a bank, the homes of Hamas leaders and a mosque that Israel said was used to store weapons.

Two of Haniya's nephews were among the dead in one strike, residents said.

Three rockets fired from Gaza, apparently at Jerusalem, fell short, hitting Hebron and Bethlehem, the army and Palestinian security sources said, with no reports of casualties.

Of four fired later at Tel Aviv, three were intercepted above the city and another hit open ground south of it, the army said, with Hamas having warned of the attacks an hour before.

Hamas has fired several rockets at Jerusalem and Israel's commercial capital Tel Aviv since Tuesday, most of which have been intercepted.

Well over 500 projectiles have struck Israel, the army says.

Amid international efforts to mediate a truce, Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's government was in touch with both sides, his spokesman said.

Sisi met Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the crisis, and later warned against escalation causing further loss of "innocent lives".

In Washington, the White House has said it is willing to "leverage" its relationships in the region to bring about a ceasefire.

The chief diplomats of Britain, France, Germany and the United States are due to discuss how to achieve a truce when they meet in Vienna on Sunday.

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini plans to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from July 14-17 and Egypt on July 18, her ministry said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a taped interview with U.S. broadcaster NBC, urged Washington to use the U.N. to stop the Israeli strikes.

However, there has been little sign that either side is interested in an immediate end to the hostilities.

On Friday, Cairo said its efforts to mediate a return to a 2012 ceasefire agreement "have met with stubbornness".

And Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told a Tel Aviv news conference he would not end the military campaign until he achieved his goal of stopping the Hamas fire.

"No international pressure will prevent us from striking, with all force, against the terrorist organization which calls for our destruction," he said.

Haniya said: "(Israel) is the one that started this aggression and it must stop, because we are (simply) defending ourselves."

The latest conflict unfolded after last month's kidnap and murder of three young Israelis in the occupied West Bank and the brutal revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish extremists.

Israel cracked down on Hamas, though the Islamist group declined to confirm or deny involvement in the abductions, and Gaza militants hit back with intensified rocket fire.

Israel says preparations are under way for a possible ground incursion, with tanks and artillery massed along the border and some 33,000 reservists mobilized out of 40,000 approved by the cabinet.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said he expected a political decision on a possible ground operation to be taken by Sunday.

Comments 13
Thumb eagledawn 12 July 2014, 14:59

lol @ mowaten

Missing .karim. 12 July 2014, 17:25

Hamas probably needs to surrender so it stops endangering the lives of the civilians in Gaza.

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 12 July 2014, 18:09

Question: Why Hamas always crying in front of any occasion that the people of Gaza starving to death. As we all see Hamas took the money and purchased rockets and missiles, launchers and other military equipment.
Hamas took all cement and iron entered Gaza for recovery of the destroyed building from last conflict with Israel and built tunnel to hide all the massive weapons. What has other country would have done if its neighbors where shooting rockets on it wouldn't they defend their inhabitants ? the civilian always paying the price specially when you hide the weapons and rockets under the civilian's houses mosques and schools.
You can't keel your parents and cry you are an orphan.

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 12 July 2014, 18:12

And at whom does the Hamas shooting their missiles? is it against chicken or civilians?
Jewish blood is no water is red same as Muslims.
Speaking of killing, Muslims became experts of killing each other.
Did anyone count how many how many Muslims been slaughtered by their own brothers just last week?

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 12 July 2014, 18:53

Israel is apartheid state while Lebanon kissing and hugging their Palestinians and treat them like their own brothers.
The only place in the Mediterranean Palestinians can live more free than other countries is Israel.
Just want to know to how many Palestinian Lebanon gave citizenship? how many can buy real estate? work or travel freely? Southern look at Saudi Arabia, how many bibles are allowed to enter there, how many Jews living in Saudi Arabia? how many churches built there ?
So continue blaming Israel. As you can find Arabs as senior doctors Judges in supreme court, senior government clerks and lecturers in universities. How many Palestinians will you find in Lebanon or other Arabian countries? and you call Israel Apartheid state?

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 12 July 2014, 19:02

-The day the Arab mothers will love their children more than they hate Jews there will be peace.
-The day Arabs will lay down their weapons there will be peace.
-The day Israel will lay down its weapons there will be no Israel.
-Till Arabs won't change the disk in their head dreaming about wiping out Israel there will be no peace.
-The day Arab children will dream about life and not dreaming about going to heaven as Shahid this will bring cure to the world.
But there will be a lot of bloodshed till this moment will come as the "Apartheid country" which occupies only 0.14% of Arab land is too much for Arabs to accept.
But in WWII before establishment of Israel Arabs were pro Nazis and willingly went to help the Nazis to liquidate Jews during holocaust. The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin El Husseini also was decorated as a Colonel in the S.S Army. while Arabs calling Jews as Nazis.

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 12 July 2014, 19:07

England forever: In 29th November 1947 the United Nation resolution gave Palestinians a state. The Jews accepted while Arabs refused and attacked the Jewish population. Whom are you blaming for their defeat? and if Jews were loosing the war did anyone remain to tell? we all see the Arab and Muslim nobility when it comes to treating other religion.Even their own brothers they are killing with much brutality. So Israel is the Apartheid state while all Arabian countries around are symbol of human rights.

Thumb cash.puppet 12 July 2014, 19:20

Texy there are economic and other boycotts going... The BDS movement is always growing in popularity. Its only a matter of time. These deaths are a result of a desperate nation trying to impose their will on arabs, they know their time is ticking. Mainstream Media doesn't cover any palestinian resistance be it peaceful or otherwise, even when they are dying in numbers, since it is completely owned by zionists. Just admit that the bought out khalijis and other arabs are the real problem, because they provide the arab cover for the israelis and allow this to continue unchecked. Don't blame the only ones providing any sort of support to them. These weapons and such wouldn't be sent to them if they had other options. The khalijis have the money to make a difference thru media and otherwise, why don't they!?!? Where are they?

Thumb cash.puppet 12 July 2014, 20:59

Come on ya texy these Zionist strategies are old and well known. They immediately pinned the blame on a whole organization for the actions of a few? No proof even.. Let's say for the sake of argument the kidnappers were somehow Hamas members? So gaA should pay as a whole? Huh? So if an Israeli kidnaps or murders a Palestinian (which happens every 3 days before this whole escalation) by that token Hamas rockets into Israel are justified and killing hundreds is justified. Come on now. The root of the problem is the racist policy of Israel without which none of these problems would be happening. They simply want to ethnically cleanse the area and take over. End of story. Everything else is a direct result of that.

Thumb chrisrushlau 12 July 2014, 21:32

So sayeth the Lord Jesus?

Thumb cash.puppet 13 July 2014, 00:31

Yes yes Abbas' strategy definitely works. The settlements have ceased and they have destroyed the apartheid wall. Get real dude.

Thumb cash.puppet 13 July 2014, 00:36

What you don't get is it's not about what Hamas or Abbas do or say. Those in power will not give it up willingly. Bending over for them won't stop the apartheid. BDS is the best way... But when they want to impose their authority through force.. As they do EVERYDAY in the West Bank even before this conflict, then you can't expect people to sit back and take it.

Thumb cash.puppet 13 July 2014, 01:15

It's all a show. They don't want to give back any land. They are building settlements for gods sake! They will not give this up willingly tex. Stop it. You are obviously here to distort. Peace