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Rockets Fired from Syria Hit Northern Israel: Two rocket hits were identified in the Golan; IDF returned fire, fighter jets were sent forward

Alarm sounded in several towns near the border. Local residents were instructed to stay close to the protected spaces

Alarm sounded today (Tuesday) afternoon in the communities of: Redness, Al-Rom, Bukaata, Massadeh Majdal Shams, restaurant, Neve Ati''b, Nimrod and 'Ein Qiniya Golan Heights. The army said that four launches were identified from Syria, and that the two falls were located in northern plateau. The IDF returned fire and fired dozens of artillery shells at the area of Syria. At the same time, planes and helicopters were sent forward to the border area.

Home Front Command ordered the residents of the area to remain close to the protected spaces, and ordered farmers to move away from agricultural areas near the border with Syria. In addition, the police blocked main roads to avoid civilian vehicles to get to the border area.

Just last week, Lt. Gen. Benjamin “Benny” Gantz spoke of the situation in northern Israel. “IDF forces are closely monitoring the events taking place here [in northern Israel], and are prepared, alert, and ready to act if necessary,” he said.

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Terrorist attack in Tel Aviv: A soldier was stabbed near a train station

The soldier was evacuated to Tel Hashomer hospital when in a critical condition. Police and civilians took over the terrorist, 18-year-old resident of Nablus, and he was arrested. Large police forces instead. "Pool of blood fell from him".

A soldier was stabbed today (Monday) Levinsky Street in Tel Aviv, near the train station defense. Paramedics and Magen David Adom paramedics gave him medical treatment on the spot and took him into hospital resuscitation Sheba when he was in critical condition, where he was taken into surgery.

A police investigation revealed that the suspect in the stabbing is staying illegally in Nablus, 18, no criminal record. Palestinian media reported that this Nur al-Din Alh'ashih.

The terrorist came to the railway station and the entrance to the station he stabbed the soldier several times. Two bystanders came to the aid of the soldier and managed to fight off the perpetrator of it. At this time the suspect tried to escape onto nearby Lavenda. Three civilians, including one carrying an ax, chased him. Riot police forces joined the chase, and in an abandoned building they were able to control him and he was arrested. The knife was found in his possession was used to stab. During the chase was slightly wounded by a man in his 50s. He was taken to Ichilov Hospital in the city, along with the woman was treated for shock.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonvitch, and Tel Aviv District Police Commander, Commander Benzi Sau, arrived at the scene. District Commander instructed the Police prepare for riots in the southern neighborhoods of the city - Hope, Florentine and others. The main concern is the events of the "price tag." Even in the West Bank, the IDF increased vigilance in order to prevent the outflow of illegal aliens.

"The terrorist escaped a distance of 200 meters and tried to hide in a five-story building. He was caught after a chase fourth floor thanks to the rapid response of the police force," said Commander Sao. He called on citizens to report any suspicious behavior. "This is part of the Guide obvious these days. I urge everyone not to take the law into their own hands - we live in a state of law, the police should have to maintain order, it is our job as we do."


 
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Operation Protective Edge: Egyptian FM announces ceasefire

On Tuesday evening, August 26, the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced a ceasefire, which entered into effect at 7 pm.​ Israel has agreed to Egyptian proposal for ceasefire that will be unlimited in time.

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, 4,562 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza - 1,042 since the violation of the ceasefire on August 19 - killing six civilians and wounding 127.

A rocket hit an Ashkelon home Tuesday morning, wounding over 20 people, including six young children.Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. In the afternoon, a rocket exploded in the playground of a kindergarten in Ashdod.
Shortly before 6:00 pm, Ze'ev Etzion, 55, and Shahar Melamed, 43, of Kibbutz Nirim were killed and four wounded in a mortar attack on the Eshkol region.

On Tuesday evening, the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced a ceasefire, which entered into effect at 7 pm. Until then, rocket alerts sounded throughout Israel's south. Hamas claimed responsibility for a rocket fired towards Tel Aviv.


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Ceasefire once again violated by rocket fire


Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, over 3,500 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. PM Netanyahu: "Israel will not negotiate under fire. We will achieve the goal of Operation Protective Edge either militarily or diplomatically, or by a combination of both.​​​​

August 19

At about 3:30 pm, three rockets fired from Gaza hit Beersheva and Netivot, violating the ceasefire.​
PM Spokesperson: This is a “grave and direct violation of the ceasefire to which Hamas committed itself.”
The IDF is targeting terror sites in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire.​


August 18

PM Netanyahu: "The Israeli team in Cairo has been instructed to insist on Israel's security needs and the IDF is prepared for very strong action if fire is resumed."
DM Yaalon: "Operation Protective Edge is not over. As we promised, we will not stop until we bring quiet and security. We are prepared for the results of the discussions in Cairo whether it brings quiet or if someone tries to challenge us with escalation."


August 17

PM Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting: "From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel. Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings... If Hamas thinks that it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken. If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken."


August 14

Despite the firing of eight rockets towards the end of the 72-hour ceasefire at midnight on Wednesday, 13 August, the ceasefire has been extended for five days, until midnight on Monday, 18 August.


August 11

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, closed on Sunday due to rocket fire, was reopened.


August 10

Since the end of the ceasefire (8:01 on Friday, August 8), Hamas has fired over 130 rockets at Israel.

At 12:30pm a barrage of rockets struck inside the Kerem Shalom Crossing through which humanitarian supplies are transfered from Israel to Gaza, forcing its temporary closure until workers can safely operate in the area, and preventing 280 trucks of humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, from reaching the people of Gaza.

PM Netanyahu to Cabinet: "Operation Protective Edge is continuing. At no stage did we declare its conclusion. The operation will continue until its goal is met - the restoration of quiet for a long period... Israel will not negotiate under fire and Israel will continue to take all action in order to change the current reality and bring quiet to all of its citizens..."

PM Netanyahu to Pres Rivlin: "We said at the start of the operation that Israel would not negotiate under fire and we have proven that we stand behind these words. Since Hamas violated the ceasefire on Friday, the IDF has struck it very hard. We are determined to achieve the goal of Operation Protective Edge - the restoration of quiet for the residents of Israel for a lengthy period while striking significantly at the terrorist organizations. I said at the beginning of the operation: We will achieve this either militarily or diplomatically, or by a combination of both."

An Egyptian-brokered 72-hour ceasefire came into effect at midnight on Sunday, after Israel said it would not negotiate in Cairo unless the rockets stopped. Minutes before the declared ceasefire, rockets were fired at Beersheba and Tel Aviv, following a day of rocket fire directed at Israel's south.


August 8

Israel agreed to Egypt's call to extend the 72-hour ceasefire. Shortly after 4 am, with the ceasefire still in effect, two rockets struck in open areas near the Eshkol Regional Council.
At 8:01, two rockets were fired towards Ashkelon, marking the renewal of rocket fire from Gaza, as Hamas refused to extend the 72-hour ceasefire.

By 10 am, over 18 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel: 2 were intercepted over Ashkelon, 14 hit open areas and 2 landed in Gaza.​ At 10:30 rockets were fired at Sderot.
After 2.5 hours of rocket fire from Gaza, PM Netanyahu and DM Yaalon ordered the IDF to respond with force.
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PM Netanyahu holds press conference

Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life. It must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians, and Hamas must be prevented from rearming as part of Gaza's general demilitarization. 

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement and answers to questions at his press conference for the foreign press on Wednesday evening, 6 August:

"The rectangle that you see in the center is the UNRWA's Shahada al-Manar elementary school for boys.

That's the thing that you see there in reddish color and you see right around that four mortars fires. Five mortars are fired. One mortar fired. One mortar fired. Right around that school. It’s very important to see that and to understand what kind of conditions our forces are facing from Gaza.

You see the big building to the right of the arrows? That's a school. You see civilian houses in a distance of a few meters, a mosque literally touching the school, civilian houses around it. This is where the terror tunnels are dug, and may I say that in many places the terror tunnels were dug from homes. From homes. From inside the homes. So, that is an example again of the use of civilian areas both to fire rockets at our civilians and to dig the terror tunnels for the death squads to reach our people, kidnap and kill them.

I expect, now that the members of the press are leaving Gaza, or some of them are leaving Gaza, and are no longer subjected to Hamas restrictions and intimidations, I expect we’ll see even more documentation of Hamas terrorists hiding behind the civilian population, exploiting civilian targets. I think it’s very important for the truth to come out.

The goal of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to protect Israeli civilians. That means to protect our people from roughly 3,500 rockets, three thousand five hundred rockets that Hamas and the other terrorist groups have fired on our cities, on our towns, on our civilians, on our children in the last month. The goal of this operation was to protect our people from the threat of terror tunnels built to send death squads into Israel, to commit terrorist atrocities against Israel’s civilians, to kidnap and to kill.

Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. We do not target them; we do not seek them. The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas; our enemy are the other terrorist organizations trying to kill our people. And we've taken extraordinary circumstances and measures to avoid civilian casualties. The tragedy of Gaza is that it is ruled by Hamas – a tyrannical and fanatical terror group that relishes civilian casualties. They want civilian casualties. They use them as PR fodder. So it’s not that they don't want them; they want them. And they pretty much say so. Indeed Hamas has adopted a strategy that abuses and sacrifices Gaza’s civilians. They use them as human shields; they endanger them and deliberately increase the death toll. They fire their rockets at Israel from schools, from hospitals, from mosques. You've just seen that. From urban neighborhoods, and right next to schools where journalists are staying. You can discover that for yourself.

Of course nearly everyone says that they support Israel's right to defend itself, and we appreciate those who say this. But there are those who refuse to recognize or to let Israel exercise that right. They would allow Hamas to attack with impunity, because they say they're firing from schools or from mosques or from hospitals and Israel should not take action against them. That's obviously a mistake. It's a moral mistake. It's an operational mistake. Because that would validate and legitimize Hamas's use of human shields, and it would hand an enormous victory to terrorists everywhere and a devastating effect to the free societies that are fighting terrorism.

If this were to happen, more and more civilians will die around the world, because this is a testing period now. Can a terrorist organization fire thousands of rockets at cities of a democracy? Can a terrorist organization embed itself in civilian areas? Can it dig terror tunnels from civilian areas? Can it do so with impunity because it counts on the victimized country to respond as it must, as any country would, and then be blamed for it? Can we accept a situation in which the terrorists would be exonerated and the victims accused?

This is the issue that stands not only before the international community today regarding Israel; it stands before the international community with a wave of radical terrorists that are now seizing vast cities, civilian populations and doing exactly the tactic that Hamas is doing. That's exactly what ISIL is doing, what Hezbollah is doing, what Boko Haram is doing. What Hamas is doing is what is al-Qaeda is doing. And the test now is not merely the test for the international community's attitude towards Israel - an embattled democracy using legitimate means against these double war crimes of targeting civilians and hiding behind civilians. The test is for the civilized world itself, how it is able to defend itself.

Israel accepted and Hamas rejected the Egyptian ceasefire proposal of July 15th. Now I want you to know that at that time, the conflict had claimed some 185 lives. Only on Monday night did Hamas finally agree to that very same proposal, which went into effect yesterday morning. That means that 90%, a full 90% of the fatalities in this conflict could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected then the ceasefire that it accepts now.

Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life. It must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians, and Hamas must be prevented from rearming as part of Gaza's general demilitarization. That is the sure way to guarantee that this conflict will not repeat itself. And I'm very glad that Secretary Kerry and others have put forward the need to demilitarize Gaza. This is a long-standing Palestinian obligation yet to be fulfilled. Setting anew this long-term goal is important for Israel, it's important for the people of Gaza and for all of us who want to see an end to the violence and an end to the suffering.

Every civilian casualty is a tragedy. A tragedy of Hamas's own working. I think the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel put it best when he said, "Hamas is engaging in child sacrifice. And this is something for which it must be held accountable. For the sake of all our children, it must not be allowed to get away with this."


Question: "[Inaudible] I wanted to ask: You mentioned the Israeli [inaudible]. That was before the ground operation, before the tunnels [inaudible] and I wanted to ask, will you therefore, if Hamas had accepted the ceasefire at that stage, the tunnels would not have been dealt with and I wanted to ask therefore, people are asking, was it a strategic goal, was it the goal of this operation, was Israel kind of improvising, was there a strategic plan here or were you [inaudible].

And a second question if I may, we've seen since the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair, since the West Bank operations, since the Gaza operation, they are rioting, attacks [inaudible] violence in Jerusalem, riots in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and I just wondered if there is concern at the spread of the violence [inaudible]."

PM Netanyahu: "Thank you. We started dealing with the tunnels - first of all, we were going to deal with the threats posed from Gaza either by military means or by diplomatic means - one of the two or both. We began dealing with the first tunnel before the Egyptian initiative. I don't know if you're aware of it, but we had information about an impending attack from one terror tunnel and we took action before we had the air attacks on our, before we had the air attacks on Gaza in response to their rocketing attacks. We actually dealt with one tunnel.

If we could have dealt with the rest of the tunnels through the Egyptian proposal, which had an immediate ceasefire as we have now, and both sides could raise the topics and specifically the issue of security would be released. That was mentioned there. When we said security, we meant obviously that we would bring up the question of the tunnels: could we deal with it through non-military means and the other threat against Israel - and that's preferable. As it turned out, Hamas rejected this and therefore we had to deal with them in military means. So we addressed the other tunnels, in addition to the one we had already addressed with military means by doing the, by actually going in.

That first tunnel was struck from the air. We didn't know that it achieved the result and it's very hard to achieve that result from the air. You either achieve it by agreement or you achieve it by actually going in to the other side, finding the points of origin of the tunnel or a point of origin, identify the trajectory of the tunnel and then dismantling it, destroying it through various means. And that's basically what we did. If we could have done it diplomatically, fine. If not, we did it militarily and the army just told us that they completed this activity and then we went out. We went in to deal with the tunnels; we went out after we finished dealing with the tunnels.

[Regarding the Jerusalem question] Well, obviously we're concerned. We hope that everyone, everyone will work now to calm the situation. That has been our goal from the very beginning in Jerusalem, everywhere, in the Palestinian areas. We don't need to see loss of life there anymore than we want to see it on the Gaza front. I want to make sure that - you mentioned the Temple Mount - so I want to make sure that everyone understands that Israel respects and will continue to respect the status quo on the Temple Mount. We know that there are arrangements there, including the traditional role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and we are not about to change it."

CNN: "Prime Minister, [unclear] for CNN. First of all, the IDF has suffered the largest casualties yet in any Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We understand 61 soldiers killed, three civilians. We've seen more than 1,800 people killed in Gaza, 900 or almost 1,000 of which are civilians, estimated. Do you really feel that your actions, Israel's actions were proportionate? And were you using the appropriate precision weapons even if Hamas is using them as human shields?"

PM Netanyahu: "Why don't you ask the first question? Let me answer that, then you can ask the second question. Why don't we do that? So first of all, the answer to both your questions is yes, I think it was justified, I think it was proportional and that doesn't in any way take away from the deep regret for, we have for the loss of a single civilian. We've gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that they have civilian casualties, as you've just seen.

Now, let's imagine your country - it could be any country, could be the US, could be Britain, could be Germany, France, India, you name it. Let's imagine your country attacked by 3,500 rockets. Your territory is infiltrated by death squads. What would you do? What would you demand that your government do to protect you and your family? You'd demand that and you'd be right because security, protecting the people, is the first obligation of any government. But what if the rockets are fired from civilian areas? And the tunnels come from schools, from mosques, from private houses where civilians live? Should you then not take action?

Do the terrorists have immunity because of the fear that some civilians will unfortunately get hurt?

Let me tell you what I think disproportionality is: It's not acting to defend your people and giving the terrorists a license to kill. I think that's disproportionate and that's wrong.

Financial Times: "Thanks very much. Mr. Prime Minister, are you prepared to give Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority a leading role in the post-war order in Gaza? And if so, can you talk about that, specifics, including policing the borders?"

PM Netanyahu: "We have cooperated and are cooperating with the Palestinian Authority on matters that you raised. There are other matters as well, and the answer is that we are cooperating with them and are prepared to see a role for them.

Q: [Inaudible]

PM Netanyahu: "We're dealing with that right now. I think it's important in the reconstruction of Gaza, in assuring the humanitarian aid and also the security questions that arise, that we have these discussions and the cooperation with them. And in fact, the ceasefire was coordinated, among other things, with them. It came from Egypt, but they were aware of it and they were speaking to, for the factions, as you know.

As far as the humanitarian aid, since I mentioned it: You know, we've given 2,000, we've passed roughly 2,000 trucks of humanitarian aid during the last month or so in which this conflict raged. We even gave humanitarian aid - most of these trucks came during the fire. A lot of them came during the ceasefire, the humanitarian ceasefire that Hamas refused to recognize for its own people. It's quite amazing. We have to do the ceasefire, the humanitarian ceasefire efforts when Hamas doesn't do it so we even sometimes, many times actually, unilaterally called ceasefire humanitarian pauses, which they didn't recognize, but we put in the trucks.

We opened a field hospital right on the Gaza passage, in the Erez Crossing on our side, and we called Palestinians who have a problem with hospitals that were being used by Hamas as terrorist sites, as command centers, as firing posts, and we said, okay, we'll open a field hospital and we did on our side. And you know what Hamas did? It prevented and warned Palestinians not to go there. Well some of them straggled through somehow and we dealt with them. And we are now dealing with our people to address the fuel, throughout the conflict, fuel, electricity stoppages and so on.

So Israel is going all out on humanitarian effort, and we're prepared to do more and we think more should be done. We just hope that Hamas will start caring for its people and stop preventing humanitarian aid for them, stop sacrificing them as human shields, stop shooting them when they protest because that's what happens when people protest and they say to Hamas, "What have you done to us?" Well, they just execute them. Just as they prevent journalists from putting out the full truth and journalists, justifiably are concerned. I can understand that.

And Hamas, Hamas does incredible things, just incredible things. There is a report - it's not my report, it's the Journal of Palestinian Studies in 2012. Note the year. It's a few years ago and they've since, they've done more things. Hamas officials, according to the Journal of Palestinian Studies, reported that at least 160 children had been killed digging the tunnels. There is something fundamentally wrong here. Hamas is sacrificing its people, sacrificing its children and it should not be allowed to get away with it. These are tragedies. The loss of a single child is a tragedy. The loss of mothers, women, families, is a tragedy. But this tragedy should be put squarely where the responsibility for it belongs. The responsibility for this tragedy belongs with Hamas. It's a deliberate strategy."

Washington Post: "Mr. Prime Minister, you mentioned Secretary Kerry's comments supporting demilitarization of Gaza. I'm wondering if you also support what he said about the need to think bigger now, to use the Cairo talks as an opportunity to think more broadly about a two-state solution and if so, what will Israel do to move in that direction?"

PM Netanyahu: "First of all, I had a very good conversation with John, with Secretary Kerry today. We work very closely with him and with the US Administration, with President Obama, throughout this operation and before. And there are reports of the substance and the tone of our relationship that are distorted. They don't capture the essence of the common values that bind our societies together and bind our governments together. And I appreciate the support that the United States has shown for Israel's right to self-defense and the appropriation that I asked for, for an additional 225 million dollars of support for Iron Dome. I think these are all very important things for which the people of Israel are deeply grateful and I want to express that.

I think the Secretary's statement on demilitarization as a strategic long-term goal is very important. I think he's right that there are opportunities now, perhaps opportunities that we have not seen before with a realignment of important parties in the Middle East to be able to fashion a new reality, one more conducive to the end of violence, to the establishment of calm, a sustainable peace or at least a sustainable quiet which can lead to other things. That is yet to be seen, but that is a goal I think worthy of exploration and pursuit. That's my goal."
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Israel agrees to Egyptian ceasefire proposal

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, 3,360 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza.

The 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is holding as it enters its second day, with no rockets being fired at Israel. All IDF forces have moved out of the Gaza Strip.

August 5

MFA Spokesperson: "Israel has notified Egypt that it has agreed to their ceasefire proposal." The 72-hour ceasefire went into effect at 8:00 AM.

IDF Spokesperson: All ground troops will have pulled out of the Gaza Strip by the start of the ceasefire. The IDF will maintain defensive positions near the Gaza border. Israel completed the destruction of 32 cross-border tunnels.

In the last hour before the ceasefire, rocket barrages are fired at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Gush Etzion, Bethlehem and Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.
An M-75 rocket fired from Gaza in the minutes before the ceasefire took effect landed near a mosque, striking a home in Beit Sahour, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.


August 4

Israel authorized a humanitarian window to take place in the Gaza Strip from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The IDF will continue to neutralize the Hamas tunnel network and will respond to any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers.


August 3

IDF Spokesperson: On the evening of Monday, July 28, IDF forces operating in the area of the Karni Crossing engaged terrorists emerging from a terror tunnel inside Israeli territory. Five soldiers were killed. During the operational activity to neutralize the tunnel, IDF forces found a wide array of weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, explosives, launchers, and AK-47 assault rifles. In addition, three motorcycles were found, ready for use, facing the opening of the tunnel into Israeli territory, intended for use in a complex terror attack on Israeli residential communities in close proximity to the Gaza border.


At 11:30 pm, a special committee led by the IDF Chief Rabbi announced the death of Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, an infantry officer in the Givati Brigade who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday.


Over the past 24 hours, the IDF struck 200 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including tunnels, weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, and command and control centers. Among the targets was a Hamas military wing facility that was used for research and development of weapon manufacturing located within the Islamic University. In addition, weapon caches and Hamas command and training facilities concealed within five Gazan mosques were targeted. IAF aircraft targeted the launcher used to fire at the Tel Aviv area earlier this morning.


August 1

Hamas fired at IDF forces in southern Gaza at 9:30 this morning in violation of the humanitarian ceasefire. IDF soldier suspected kidnapped. Extensive search underway.

Two IDF soldiers were killed in the suspected kidnapping of 2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin in Rafah.

PM Netanyahu speaks with US Secretary Kerry

Once again, Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza have violated the ceasefire to which they committed themselves to the UN Secretary-General and US Secretary of State Kerry.

UN special envoy Robert Serry issues statement: He was informed by Israel of "a serious incident this morning" during the truce involving "a tunnel behind IDF lines in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip." If confirmed, "this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian ceasefire in place since 8 am this morning by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms."

White House press calls the reported kidnapping of an IDF soldier by Hamas a "barbaric violation of ceasefire agreement" negotiated by the United States and United Nations.

US President Obama: "I have - unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third almost minutes after a ceasefire had been announced...
I have been very clear throughout this crisis that Israel has a right to defend itself. No country can tolerate missiles raining down on its cities and people having to rush to bomb shelters every twenty minutes or half hour. No country can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under their land that can be used to launch terrorist attacks...
It's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment. And it's not particularly relevant whether a particular leader in Hamas ordered this abduction, the point is that when they sign onto a ceasefire, they're claiming to speak for all the Palestinian factions. If they don't have control of them and just moments after a ceasefire's signed you have Israeli soldiers being killed and captured, then it's hard for the Israelis to feel confident that a ceasefire can actually be honored. "

US Secretary Kerry: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. It was an outrageous violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations. Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier... The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the reported violation by Hamas of the mutually agreed humanitarian ceasefire which commenced this morning. He is shocked and profoundly disappointed by these developments... Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas' assurances to the United Nations. The Secretary-General demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier."

1:00am: Israel accepts humanitarian ceasefire

In accordance with the authority granted by the Security Cabinet to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, Israel has accepted the UN/US proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning 8:00 am Friday, 1 August 2014.
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Fear of abduction, Security forces conducting extensive searches of three missing boys

The contact with three boys lost during the night, in the Gush Etzion erea. Security forces are acting to locate them by extensive search in Judea and Samaria. 

"We centralize very large intelligence effort trying to track down the missing boys," said army spokesman Brigadier General Moti Almoz, briefing reporters.


PM Netanyahu: "Palestinian Authority is responsible for the safety of the boys."
Prime Minister spoke with the families of the missing boys and told them: "I know you are going through moments of anguish.'re Strong. State of Israel will make every effort for the boys and I promise to stany in contact with you."
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A bomb exploded in the northern Golan Heights, near the border fence. Four soldiers were injured in the blast, one of them critically

Following the terrorist attack on the border: the IDF attacked military installations in Syria and Syrian security officials who helped with the attack.

Last week, a bomb was detonated at an IDF force on the Lebanese border. No casualties were reported in the incident.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon published in the morning a message following the Israeli attack on Syrian territory, in which he wrote: "We will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty and harm our soldiers and our citizens, and will respond with determination and strength to all who will work against us, any time and anywhere, as we did tonight," . According to Ya'alon, "anyone attempting to harm us - the blood in his head., We also see the Assad regime responsible for what is happening in its territory, and if he will continue to cooperate with terrorists who seek to harm the State of Israel we will collect from him heavy price in a way that will make him regret his actions."
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“WE ACT WITH BOLDNESS, INNOVATION AND COURAGE TO STOP OUR ENEMIES ANYWHERE, IN ANY WAY AND AT ANY TIME"

$20 Million raised at the Gala Dinner for the wellbeing of IDF soldiers


New York, NY, Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, told guests at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Gala in New York that Israel’s “enemies” are building a “bustling industry of terror” that they are trying to conceal while presenting another face to the West.

More than 1,400 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country gathered at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel for the FIDF National NY Gala Dinner, demonstrating their love and support for the soldiers of Israel and FIDF and raising $20 million. National Chairman Emeritus Arthur Stark served as the Gala Chairman, and author and nationally syndicated radio host Dr. Monica Crowley served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

“Our enemies are weaving a web of deceit that allows them to make unprecedented complex strides - a web which they go to great lengths to conceal, but we go to greater lengths to uncover,” Gantz told FIDF supporters. “We see them, we hear them, we recognize them, and most important of all, we act with boldness, innovation and courage to stop them anywhere, in any way and at any time.”

Gantz also spoke of the “deep and eternal commitment” between Israel and the United States, which he said fosters strong operational ties between the two countries’ armed forces. The relationship is “based on shared values, almost identical interests and a similar social and political structure, creating commitment in the struggle for peace and security,” he said.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance were FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic; FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon; Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish; Israel Air Force Attaché and Deputy Defense Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Brig. Gen. Yakov Shaharabani; IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz; the IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi; President of the New York Yankees, Randy Levine and his wife, Mindy; American real estate tycoon and media proprietor, Mort Zuckerman; American sex therapist, media personality, and author, Dr. Ruth Westheimer; and Executive Director of the FIDF Tri-State Region, Richard Goldstein.

“The IDF soldiers stand ready to do what it takes to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people – wherever they may be. They do it willingly, they do it with an incredible pride and passion and, often, they do it at great personal sacrifice,” said Arthur Stark. “FIDF is a unique organization that tells these brave men and women, our sons and daughters who proudly wear the IDF uniform that we recognize that passion, we recognize that sacrifice, we recognize that devotion, and we stand with them.”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, greeted the audience via satellite, and thanked them for their invaluable support for Israel’s soldiers. Guests then were treated to a special surprise when the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, together with a group of combat pilots, joined via live satellite from Israel and simulated a complex Air Force operation.

$20 million dollars was raised by the evening’s end. Notable among the donations was $2 million pledged by FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic, and family, $1.5 million pledged by President of FIDF NY Young Leadership (YL), Lemor Bar-Or, on behalf of YL-NY; $1 million pledged by National Board Member, Benny Shabtai; $1 million pledged by the Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF); $1 million pledged by Genesis Philanthropy Group North America; and $500,000 pledged by Stuart Rhar.

The evening culminated with heartfelt words shared by Yael Schiffenbauer, the widow of helicopter pilot Daniel Shiffenbauer, a former Squadron Commander in the IDF Air Force who was killed during military exercises in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in 2010. In her speech, she spoke about losing her beloved husband and the father of their three sons, and the healing support offered to her family in their time of grief.

The funds raised during the evening will provide much needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for soldiers in-need and Lone Soldiers from around the world, weeks of rest and recreation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. The evening was a rare and exclusive opportunity to pay tribute to the State of Israel and to send a message of love and support to the brave men and women in uniform.

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"The Palestinians insist to say the last word, we will consider our response"

Israel, The morning after the rocket attack in the south, senior defense officials will hold evaluation of the situation and discuss possible sanctions on the fire. A security official: considering to extend the closing Kerem Shalom and respond to rocket attack.

A security official referred to this morning rocket lounch at the western Negev, saying that the Palestinians "have a tendency to always insist violent rounds seeks the last word, by shooting a rocket or mortar fire."

Although the rocket exploded in an open area, and the "Iron Dome" that was estimating the rocket route was not activated, the day will be led by evaluation of the situation by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at his office. Participate in it, Lt. - Gen. Benny Gantz, the head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and other officials. They will discuss among other things the possibility of a response to rocket fire, but mainly on future measures of punishment. On the agenda - considerations of to continue the closure of Kerem Shalom.
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