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Hamas tells Gaza civilians to ignore warning leaflets dropped by Israel; death toll rises

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 15:07

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Jerusalem: For the first time since launching the operation Protective Edge to stop the barrage of rockets being fired by the Hamas militants, Israeli troops specifically, Navy commandos, entered Gaza overnight and raided a rocket launching site in what can be called a brief ground raid.

Writing on its twitter account, the Israeli Defence Forces said that they accomplished the mission as they targeted a site in Gaza which was used to fire long-range rockets.

The short ground incursion made by Israeli Navy comes as Operation Protective Edge entered its fifth day, with unabated salvos of rockets and missiles being fired from both the sides.

As the Israel-Gaza conflict intensifies, with Jerusalem determined to stop the rocket firing by Hamas militants, officials in Gaza say that 159 Palestinians have been killed in IDF strikes so far.

Yesterday evening, 17 members of one single family were killed in an airs strike by Israeli Army.

Israeli meanwhile, said that it was dropping leaflets over Gaza, instructing civilians to evacuate the areas where missiles would be fired.

“The IDF`s campaign is to be short and temporary. Those who fail to comply will endanger their lives. Beware!,” reads one of the leaflets that Israel is distributing over Gaza.

"To warn civilians of an impending strike, the IDF drops leaflets, makes personalized phone calls & sends SMSes. How many militaries do that?," Israeli Army wrote on its twitter account seeking to escape the full responsibility of civilian deaths in Gaza.

Israeli Army further said that the Hamas militants were telling the civilians in Gaza not to follow the instructions, resulting in higher civilian deaths.

According to the UN, 77% of the people killed in Gaza have been civilians.

Expressing serious concerns over the security of civilians trapped on both sides in the ongoing violence, the UN Security Council urged both Hamas and Israel to restore the "calm and restitution of the November 2012 ceasefire."

Also, to keep the crisis from spiralling, western countries will hold a meeting in Vienna today to discuss ceasefire in Gaza. 

Britain, US, France and Germany will meet in Vienna where the discussion will be held on the sidelines of talks on Iran`s nuclear programme, the AFP reported.

Meanwhile, Israel on Sunday claimed to have struck some 1,320 "terror" sites across Gaza, and blamed Hamas for firing 809 rockets at Israel in 5 days.

First Published: Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 13:05

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