Sunday, July 20, 2014

Heavy IAF Shelling in Shejaiya

Tova Dvorin

Over 30 IDF soldiers have reportedly been injured in Sheijaya, Walla! News reports Sunday, after the IDF carried out heavy shelling in the city east of Gaza City. 

The strike reportedly involved huge forces in tanks and artillery. 

Since starting the ground phase of the operation on Thursday night, the IDF has killed 130 terrorists and wounded 800, a senior official updated Sunday morning.

Palestinian Arab networks claim that "dozens" have been killed in the shelling, which extended from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

Among the dead are the family members of senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya, according to multiple sources, after their house was shelled in Gaza City itself. 

According to Yediot Aharonot, Hamas has reportedly submitted a request for another "humanitarian ceasefire" after the shelling, handing the request through the International Red Crescent. 

"The ICRC contacted (us) and offered to broker a three-hour humanitarian truce to enable ambulances to evacuate the dead and wounded and Hamas accepted it," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

Contacted by AFP, an ICRC spokesman refused to confirm or deny the report, saying only: "We have been making every effort to ensure ways to evacuate the dead and the wounded."

Earlier, reports from respectable sources indicated that Israel has rejected the request, as Hamas continued to attack Israel during last week's attempt at such a move. 

However, in a sudden reversal, Israel agreed to a two-hour humanitarian ceasefire on Sunday afternoon, pledging to stop the airstrikes from 1:30-3:30 pm IST. The IDF has asked all Gazans to evacuate Sheijaya, as well as Saladin near Gaza City, in advance of airstrikes resuming later Sunday. 

But the ceasefire did not last long, however - as Hamas broke the truce just 40 minutes in. 

"Once more, Hamas breaches ceasefire, this time brokered by the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) for a humanitarian hiatus. IDF responding accordingly," army spokesman Peter Lerner said on his official Twitter account in a posting just 40 minutes into the truce.

More to follow. 

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