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Saturday March 28, 2020

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Israel begins Ground Operation in Gaza

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Following ten days of continuous Hamas attacks against Israel by land, air, sea and after repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation Israel has commenced a ground operation into the Gaza Strip aimed at targeting Hamas tunnels that enable terrorists to carry out terror attacks. Israel’s objective was and remains putting an end to rocket fire from Gaza and providing the citizens of Israel with the peace atmosphere to which they are entitled. Israel has made repeated efforts to de-escalate the situation, only to be met with aggression and terror from Hamas. On Tuesday, Israel agreed to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, whereas Hamas rejected it and continued firing rockets at Israeli cities. Hamas also failed to honor the humanitarian ceasefire initiated by the UN and continued firing at Israeli cities during the lull. Yesterday (17th July), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon instructed the IDF to commence ground action to strike at terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel.


World Reaction to the latest conflict:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas publicly criticized Hamas on Palestinian television, accusing the group of provoking “unnecessary deaths” and “trading in Palestinian blood” by firing rockets at Israel. The Palestinian Authority’s representative to the UNHRC even acknowledged that Hamas is committing war crimes by targeting civilians and contrasted that with how Israel is following international law by warning residents before strikes so as to minimize civilian casualties. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said, "I am deeply worried and disappointed that Hamas has not agreed to this and this violence has resumed again between the two parties."


Israel thwarts Hamas Infiltration:

Yesterday, Israel identified around 13 Palestinians who had infiltrated Israel through a tunnel dug from Gaza. These terrorists were heavily armed with weapons and were prepared to carry out a massacre. Israel estimates that there are dozens of tunnels between Israel and Gaza. Unfortunately, Hamas is using vast resource and fund to dig and build these tunnels, instead of investing in civilian projects. This shows that the construction materials that Israel transfers to Gaza for civilian projects are being used by Hamas for its tunnels.


UNRWA finds 20 rockets in a school in Gaza:

Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA strongly condemned Hamas for placing the weapons in one of its installations. UNRWA had stated that it has strong, established procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises. Palestinians in Gaza rely on UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance and shelter, especially during escalations of violence.



Israel continues humanitarian aid:

Despite the constant rocket fire into Israel, the flow of humanitarian goods into Gaza continues. Since the beginning of the operation, 673 trucks with food and medical supplies were transferred into Gaza.


Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge (July 8th), more than 1,497 rockets have been launched at Israel by Hamas, endangering lives of over 6 million Israeli citizens.


Source: Embassy of Israel, New Delhi, India

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