Israel warns 100,000 Gaza civilians to evacuate as strikes intensify
by Supriya Jha
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 22:30
The eight-day-old military confrontation between the two nations has caused the first Israeli casualty, as per authorities in Israel.
Two rockets fired from Gaza struck the Ashkelon area, and five rockets struck elsewhere in southern Israel, as per IDF.
In an interview to a news agency, President Shimon Peres admits that firing at Gaza made for a "moral dilemma", but there was no alternative to it.
Speaking to the Associated Process, the nonagenerian President said, "There is a moral problem, but I don't have a moral answer to it. If they are shooting at us, and don't let our mothers and their children ... have a full night's sleep, what can we do?"
Israel says Hamas is telling Gazan civilians to ignore IDF warnings. The Israeli Army further says that it called off three airstrikes after identifying civilians in the area.
Earlier today, we urged civilians to move away from IDF military targets in Gaza. Once again, Hamas told civilians to ignore our warnings.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 16, 2014
In what hinted at Israel's intention of reoccupying Gaza nine years after its troops unilaterally withdrew in 2005, Mr Lieberman said that the Operation Protective Edge must “go all the way”.
After the Hamas rejected ceasefire, forcing Jerusalem to resume fire, Israel has now vowed to continue with its Operation Protective Edge until it was in complete control of the Gaza Strip, said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in a press conference as per the Haaretz.
Israeli military sources have reportedly warned 100,000 Gazans to evacuate the area as Israel is set to intensify strikes in wake of the ceasfire collapse.
"This morning, we dropped leaflets warning civilians in Gaza to move away from Hamas terrorists before IDF strikes," the Army said.
The lone Israeli killed so far, a civilian named Dror Hanin, 37, was a West Bank settler and fell prey to a rocket fired by Hamas' armed wing, while delivering food to soldiers near the Erez crossing with Gaza, according to the AFP.
Israel's Iron Dome has intercepted 4 rockets over Tel Aviv
Israeli military says Gaza has fired rockets over the key town of Tel Aviv.
Holding off its barrage of rockets briefly in line with a truce proposed by Egypt, Israel resumed its strikes on Gaza Strip as Hamas continued firing, dashing hopes of a ceasefire.
Israel started Day 9 of Operation Protective Edge by targeting some senior Hamas leaders in Gaza on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Palestinian death toll shot past 200, the AFP quoted the medics as saying.
Israel, which had so far not reported a single fatality, yesterday said that one civilian named Dror Hanin was killed by a mortar fired from Gaza on late Tuesday.
“We join the family in mourning their tragic loss,” the IDF said on twitter.
Israeli Army said that it was resuming strikes in response to the incessant barrage of rockets from Gaza.
As the Operation Protective Edge entered its Day 9, Israel issued a fresh warning to azans, telling them to leave the area to be bombed.
Israel continues the practice of warning the civilians in Gaza to evacuate using leaflets or recorded telephone messages, shortly before bombing Hamas targets, which Israel says are hidden among civilian residences.
“As part of our effort to avoid harming civilians, we are sending messages to residents of northern Gaza to leave homes for their own safety,” the IDF posted on Twitter.
Israeli Army had yesterday suspended strikes on Gaza, in hope of a ceasefire taking hold with effect from 9 am on Tuesday as suggested by Egypt, however the Hamas rejected the ceasefire, with one of its officials, calling it a 'joke' according to the CNN.
Moreover, the Hamas continued shooting salvos of rockets towards Israel even on Tuesday, with the IDF saying that the militants fired 141 rockets on the day, ceasefire was supposed to take hold.
Since 9:00 AM today, 141 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel. That's one rocket every 6 minutes. pic.twitter.com/mRLFwikCSa
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 15, 2014
As Israel continued its air strikes after a truce failed to stop the rockets after eight days of cross-bordrer fire, the US seemed justifying the move, saying that Israel did have a riht to defend itself. However, at the same time, the Obama administration stressed on urgency to de-escalate the situation which had worsened with 'horrific' deaths that included children.
"We've seen the reports of the number of Palestinian deaths, including children. That's horrific," said US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“We need to all remember what's at stake here: we will continue to work for a ceasefire," she added.
First Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 09:24