As Operation Protective Edge ends its 2nd week we hear that sadly 6 more soldiers were killed over Friday and Shabbat, bringing the death toll to 40:
The IDF announced early Saturday evening that three soldiers had been killed in the Gaza Strip during the day, bringing the death toll during Operation Protective Edge to 40.
The soldiers were Lt. Roy Peles, 21, of Tel Aviv, killed when an armored vehicle was hit by militant fire; Ssgt. Avraham Grintzvaig, 21, of Petah Tikva, killed in a firefight in the northern Gaza Strip; Ssgt. Gal Bason, 21, of Holon, also killed in northern Gaza.
The military also released the name of the second of two soldiers killed Friday overnight in Gaza. He was Amit Yeori, 20, from Jerusalem.
Earlier the IDF had said that two soldiers were killed overnight, giving the name of one as Guy Boyland, 21 years old from Ginosar.
On Friday the military had announced the deaths of two soldiers: Master Sgt. Yair Ashkenazy and Staff Sgt. Guy Levy.
Levy was killed by an anti-tank missile fired from near a UN school, the IDF said. Mortar shells and anti-tank missiles were fired “from a structure near an UNRWA school,” the IDF said, killing Levy and injuring several others.
My heart goes out to the families of these soldiers as to all the others. May their deaths not have been in vain and may Hashem avenge their blood.
In late news, the IDF announced that a further two soldiers died of their wounds:
The IDF releases the names of two Israeli soldiers who succumbed to their wounds on Saturday.
Cpt. Liad Lavi, 22, of Talmei Yosef, died Saturday after being wounded Thursday in the southern Gaza Strip.
SGM Rami Kahlon, a non-commissioned officer in the paratroopers, 39, of Hadera, died Saturday after being injured in combat on Tuesday near the border with the Gaza Strip.
The IDF death toll in Operation Protective Edge now stands at 42.
Baruch Dayan Emet. May their memories be for a blessing.
The IDF meanwhile updated regarding the missing, feared abducted soldier:
The military also said Friday that Sgt. Oron Shaul, previously declared Missing in Action and claimed by Hamas to have been kidnapped, was killed in the Gaza neighborhood of Shejaiya on July 13, during a bloody battle in which six other IDF troops died as well. The missing soldier’s remains have not been found, but a special IDF ethics committee ruled that sufficient evidence exists to determine that Shaul was killed in the attack.
IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz notified the soldier’s family that Shaul was designated a fallen soldier “whose place of burial is unknown.” This means a funeral will not be held at this time.
The poor family. I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through. Let’s hope that the IDF manage to recover Oron’s body to give the family, and the nation, closure.
Moving to the ceasefire that wasn’t. Or it was, but then it wasn’t:
Just before Shabbat started the cabinet sat down to discuss a temporary ceasefire. Here’s what happened next – Israeli ministers rejected John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, saying he had completely capitulated to Hamas:
Israeli government sources on Saturday night accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of “completely capitulating” to the demands of Hamas and its champion Qatar in drafting the Gaza war ceasefire proposal that Israeli ministers unanimously rejected on Friday.
The unnamed sources, quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 TV, said Kerry “dug a tunnel under the Egyptian ceasefire proposal” — which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week — and presented the Israeli government with a text that accepted “most of the demands” raised by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Strip.
To the “horror” of the Israeli ministers, the Kerry proposal accepted Hamas’s demands for the opening of border crossings into Gaza — where Israel and Egypt fear the import of weaponry; the construction of a seaport; and the creation of a post-conflict funding channel for Hamas from Qatar and other countries, according to the sources. The proposal, meanwhile, did not even provide for Israel to continue demolishing the Hamas network of “terror tunnels” dug under the Israeli border.
Rather than provoke an open diplomatic confrontation with the United States, the report said, the appalled ministers chose not to issue an official statement rejecting the Kerry terms. Instead, word of the decision was allowed to leak out.
In my own, totally undiplomatic opinion, Israel should have indeed created an open break with the US. It has become more than obvious that they are no ally of Israel in this war. See below for more:
Israel and Hamas did maintain a humanitarian truce through Saturday, during which Israel continued to track and demolish some of the Hamas tunnels.
Israel was also fuming Saturday over the tactics followed by Secretary Kerry since Friday night in his ceasefire quest.
Kerry flew to Paris and held talks Saturday without representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority or Egypt, but with Qatar and Turkey, which Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said showed “we’re a long way from a political solution.”
Privately, Israeli sources signaled deep dismay that Kerry engaged in the talks in Paris with representatives of Turkey, whose leadership is openly hostile to Israel, and Qatar, whose leadership is seen by Israel to be representing Hamas’s interests. Egypt was also understood to be deeply dissatisfied with Kerry’s tactics.
Israeli government sources also privately contradicted Kerry’s assertion Friday that his ceasefire proposal was “built on” the Egyptian proposal from last Tuesday. Far from resembling the Egyptian proposal, which urges an immediate ceasefire followed by negotiation, the Kerry proposal leans heavily toward Hamas, the sources said, in tying Hamas preconditions to a cessation of hostilities.
Adding insult to injury:
An Army Radio report on Friday night highlighted that the US on Monday signed an $11 billion arms deal with Qatar, and noted that Qatar is championing Hamas’s demands in the ceasefire negotiations, and is also alleged by Israel to be financing Hamas’s rocket production, tunnel digging infrastructure, and other elements of its military infrastructure. The radio report also claimed that Ban Ki-moon “is flying around the region on a Qatari plane.”
I’m at a loss to understand why Israel doesn’t declare John Kerry persona non grata in Israel, and certainly why we pay him the slightest attention. He certainly does not have Israel’s best interests at heart, and is damaging the US’s interests at the same time.
You know things are bad when even the leftist Haaretz newspaper slams Kerry. Barak Ravid asks “What was Kerry thinking?“. (My undiplomatic answer: he can think?)
The IDF updates:
IDF forces target over 150 “terror sites” in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours.
The military says it hit almost 4,000 such sites since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8.
The IDF agreed to a further extension of the humanitarian truce until midnight (just passed here) but Hamas took no notice and began rocketing the south of Israel the minute the first ceasefire (until 8 p.m.) was over.
Until the 1st ceasefire ran out, only 9 rockets were fired at Israel during the day (does that include the barrage last night as people returned from synagogue?). At any rate the number has risen since the truce ended.
Around 1,000 Israelis took part in an anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv tonight. I am completely mystified. They have done this twice now, and each time received rockets for their troubles. Do they think Hamas will love them more and kill them last if they demonstrate? We tried not making war – and look where that got us. These people are delusional.
The terrorists tell us what they think:
And the Prime Minister’s office sums up the situation perfectly and succinctly:
May we have a quiet night and a better tomorrow.
May Hashem protect our soldiers and watch over us.