Gaza LIVE: Israel says will destroy Hamas tunnels `with or without ceasefire`

In a strong condemnation of the Israeli shelling on a UN school in Gaza that killed 16 civilians, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that it was an outrageous act as `nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children”.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

  • The call-up of additional reservists comes after the US agreed to stock up its ammunition supplies, just hours after US condemned the attack on UN school in Gaza.
  • To intensify its operations in Gaza, Israel on Thursday mobilised another 16,000 reservists, taking the total number of to 86,000, said a military spokeswoman.

    "The army has issued 16,000 additional mobilisation orders to allow troops on the ground to rest, which takes the total number of reservists to 86,000," an army spokeswoman said.

  • Even as Israel drew furious condemnation over its shelling of a UN school in Gaza that killed more than a dozen of innocents, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday reiterated his resolve of continuing the mission of destroying tunnels used by Hamas, irrespective of a ceasefire, reports said.

    Also Read: Israeli PM says will destroy Gaza terror tunnels with or without truce

  • The IDF also tweeted a video showing a walk-through of a Gaza mosque that contained many weapons and also two tunnel openings were found under the prayer room.
  • Israeli Army said that it destroyed a Hamas attack tunnel hidden under a mosque in southern Gaza yesterday.
  • The death toll in Gaza has topped 1360 and Israel too has lost 56 of its soldiers in 23 days of fighting.
  • Israeli military says that Palestinian militant group Hamas cell has "received training overseas for unique terror attack. The plan: parachute over the border & murder Israelis".
  • When words fall short, tears do trickle down. Something similar happened on live TV when a UN spokesperson broke into sobs after speaking about the plight of Palestinian children in Gaza.

    "The rights of Palestinians, and even their children, are wholesale denied... and its appalling," an apparently phlegmatic Chris Gunness, UNWRA spokesperson, could only articulate these words after which he covered his face with his hands and broke into audible sobs.

    Also Read: Gaza: A `Normal` Season of Death

  • Israeli Army says it has struck 110 terror sites in Gaza in the past 24 hours, including 5 command centers.
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that Gaza City has electricity for about 2 hours/day & localities in Middle Area of Gaza Strip have no supply at all.
  • An Israeli shelling had hit the only power plant supplying electricity to Gaza City a couple of days ago.
  • As an attack on a UN school in Gaza has brought in focus the increasing threat to civilians and refugees, the UNWRA says that more than two lakh displaced Palestinians are sheltered in 86 UN schools.
  • The attack on Beit Lahiya School for Girls on Thursday killed no one, but eight were injured, reports said.

    "The school itself was not targeted, it was nearby the school," the CNN quoted Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as saying.

  • A day after Israeli shelling on a UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp drew immense UN and US flak, fresh shells have landed nearby another school giving shelter to displaced Palestinians in Gaza, the CNN reported.
  • The Israeli government has also said that it will probe the incident.

    "We will investigate that. And if we find that it was errant fire from Israel I`m sure we will apologise, Government spokesman Mark Regev told the BBC.

  • Israeli military has said that it will probe the school shelling, slamming the Hamas for storing weapons in schools.
  • Israeli Army spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan had yesterday said that the terrorists had first fired from the vicinity of school to which the IDF responded by firing.

    In a strong condemnation of the Israeli shelling on a UN school in Gaza that killed 16 civilians, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that it was an outrageous and unjustifiable act as `nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children”, adding that UN shelters should be safe zones, not combat zones.

    In Costa Rica for an official trip, Mr Ban said, “I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice”.

    The attack on the UN-run school in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza has invited furious denunciation from UN bodies with them calling for international political action to stop the bloodshed.

    The school that was run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was said to house more than 3000 Palestinian refugees at the time of attack, says the UN.

    According to an initial assessment by the UN, Israel shelled the UNRWA school at least three occasions, in spite of the UN body`s repeated communication to the Israeli Army about the location of the school.

    Calling the school attack a source of universal shame, the UNRWA Commissioner General, Pierre Krähenbühl said, “The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection...the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.”

    “I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage,” he added.

    UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson stressed on the significance of “putting people first” in wake of rising death toll, saying `enough is enough`.

    Meanwhile, Israel-Gaza violence continued after a four-hour lull as the IDF opened a humanitarian window in Gaza from 15:00 to 19:00.

    However, Israel said that Hamas continued firing rockets even during the truce.

    “Since 15:00, when the IDF authorized a humanitarian window in Gaza, 26 rockets have been fired at Israe.” the IDF posted on Twitter.

    The Israeli Army said that “Gaza terrorists fired more than 140 rockets at Israel over the past 24 hours. That`s almost 1 rocket every 10 minutes,” adding that over 50 of them fell in Gaza itself.

    With fiercer violence continuing, the Palestinian death toll has crossed 1300, also the Israeli Army lost three more soldiers yesterday taking the troops toll past 55.

    Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza ten days after it started Operation Protective Edge, aiming to destroy a network of underground tunnels, which Israel says, are used by the Hamas to infiltrate and plan attacks on Israelis.

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