Israeli jets continue to bomb Gaza, death toll reaches 100

Israeli jets continue to bomb Gaza, death toll reaches 100
Israeli jets bombed the Gaza Strip for the fourth day on Thursday killing 10 Palestinians as the death toll rose to 100 on a day when the Jewish state was targeted for the first time by rocket attacks from Lebanon since the military offensive began. Ten Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes today, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Five Palestinians were killed and 15 injured in Rafah after the Israeli air force targeted the Ghannam family home.

A toddler was also killed in Rafah after being injured by shrapnel from an airstrike while another person was killed in eastern Rafah. In Gaza City, Israeli warplanes targeted a fifth-floor apartment building, killing one. ‘Two Palestinians were killed and a third was wounded in an Israeli strike that targeted a car belonging to the Bureij municipality,’ ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. He said that 100 Palestinians have been killed and over 600 injured in the Israeli offensive so far.
Over 300 homes have been totally destroyed or severely damaged and around 2,000 Gazans have been made homeless, Palestinian media reported.

A rocket fired from Lebanon struck a gas station near Israel’s northern border, the Israeli military said. Lebanon’s state-run news agency said two rockets were fired from the country. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the strikes, which prompted Israel to retaliate with artillery fire toward the source of the firing. Israel military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said it was unclear whether the new front was ‘symbolic or something more substantial.’ Meanwhile, Hamas has warned airlines that it intends to target Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport with its rockets from Gaza and has told them not to fly there. ‘In the light of Israel’s ... attacks on the residents of Gaza Strip ... The armed wing of Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base,’ the Jerusalem Post quoted Hamas’ statement as saying.

‘The vast majority of Israel’s population is in the range of Hamas missiles, which have been fired so far at Israel’s major cities Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa and many more. Since July 7th to July 11th, 442 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza, aimed deliberately at Israeli civilian targets,’ an Israeli official said. He said throughout the operation, Israel has made extensive efforts to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, but Hamas fires rockets on civilian Israeli population from within civilian Palestinian populated areas.

A concerned US President Barack Obama offered to broker a ceasefire with Hamas as he called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reaffirming US’ position that Israel has a right to defend itself and while condemning rocket attacks by Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups, Obama told Netanyahu that he is prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities. While it is still unclear as to what Netanyahu told the US President but yesterday he had ruled out a ceasefire with Hamas in the short-term. On the contrary, the Israeli leader had vowed a series of ‘additional stages’ to Operation Protective Edge, his government’s response to continued rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities by Gaza militants.A ceasefire is ‘not even on the agenda,’ Netanyahu told members of the influential Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, just hours before his call with Obama. Israel has confirmed preparations for a possible ground assault, with tanks and artillery massed along the border and about 33,000 reservists mobilised.


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