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IDF resumes strikes after multiple attempts for Gazan cease-fire falter
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
07/28/2014
Army finds tunnel reaching 600m. into Israel • Number of Palestinians killed exceeds 1,000.
 
The IDF resumed strikes on terrorist targets in Gaza on Sunday morning after Hamas violated a humanitarian truce requested by the UN and fired 25 rockets at southern and central Israel by 10 a.m.

The strikes targeted tunnels and underground rocket launchers used to fire on Israeli cities. Later in the day, the IDF destroyed a tunnel discovered by the Givati Brigade and uncovered a second cross-border tunnel that reached 600 meters into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Be’eri.

By Sunday evening, some 60 rockets and mortars had been fired into Israel from Gaza.

Three struck homes in the South, damaging them. Seven were downed by the Iron Dome and 39 hit open areas.

Since the operation began, there have been 2,507 rockets and mortars fired into Israel, and 492 rockets shot down by the Iron Dome. The IDF has killed some 330 terrorists since the start of the ground offensive and arrested 24.

The Israel Air Force launched targeted strikes on four terrorists, including a motorcyclist in Khan Yunis, and three terrorists in the Nuseirat region, near a rocket-launch zone.

On the ground in Gaza, infantry soldiers seized weapons and communications equipment.

Shortly after noon, four Palestinian ambulances carrying wounded Gazans arrived at the IDF’s field hospital at the Erez crossing.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Hamas announced that it agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire, and then fired 12 rockets at Israel.

The IAF hit 13 targets in Gaza in response.

In the afternoon, the IAF struck more than 20 Hamas targets, including command and control centers, an underground tunnel and underground rocket launchers.

Meanwhile, soldiers continued to search for additional attack tunnels throughout Gaza. By the evening, two tunnels – one in southern Gaza and one in the north of the Strip – had been destroyed, and soldiers found three more tunnel shafts.

The Givati Brigade launched raids in the Hirbet Ahza’a district of Gaza and found a large concentration of explosives laid out across two main streets. Six booby-trapped homes were also found in the raids.

The IAF launched air strikes to destroy the bombs planted in the two streets.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz toured the 188th Armored Brigade on Sunday and praised soldiers for their efforts in destroying Hamas’s tunnels.

“This is a super important achievement, first of all for the residents of the South, and afterward, for negating Hamas’s strategic ability,” Gantz said. “The mission is not yet complete.”

The IDF announced on Sunday that a soldier was killed after he was struck by a rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza on Saturday.

The fallen soldier has been named as St.-Sgt. (res.) Barak Refael Degorker, aged 27, from Gan Yavne.

Degorker is the 43rd soldier killed since the start of the ground offensive.

The army on Saturday released the names of two IDF soldiers who succumbed to wounds that they incurred during the ground incursion in the Gaza Strip.

Capt. Liad Lavi, an officer in an infantry unit, died late Saturday after he was hospitalized in the wake of wounds he sustained in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

CWO Rami Chalon, a noncommissioned officer serving in the Paratroopers Brigade, died after succumbing to wounds he sustained in Gaza last week. He was 39 years old.

The IDF said 327 soldiers have been wounded since the start of the operation; 37 are in serious condition, 91 are moderately wounded, and 199 sustained light wounds.

Ben Hartman and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.
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