Despite rockets and mortars fired at several civilian targets last night, which have severely wounded one civilian, the Security Cabinet voted last night to extend the humanitarian cease fire for another 24 hours on the UN’s behest, ending tonight at 9 PM.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Communication Minister Gilad Erdan voted in favor of the extension, while Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich voted against the deal.
Hamas on its part has rejected the ceasefire extension by Israel, stating it is a unilateral decision on Israel’s part, and demanding Israeli troops withdraw first. Meanwhile, a Saturday morning report in Asharq Al-Awsat suggested that Hamas may be inclined to accept Kerry’s week-long ceasefire proposal, out of the desire to allow the people of Gaza to rest during the end of Ramadan, the Eid al-Fitr. IDF forces remain in Gaza to continue their work to dismantle terror tunnels. The result from Saturday’s operations was that the IDF unearthed four new tunnels. Each tunnel is mapped out, and specialized forces are learning in the process how to efficiently neutralize these threats. Hundreds of terrorist weapons were found in homes, schools, mosques and hospitals throughout Gaza Sgt. First Class (res.) Barak Refael Degorker, 27, was killed overnight by mortar fire from Gaza. Over the weekend, IDF soldiers Lieutenant Roi Peles, 21, from Tel Aviv, Staff Sergeant Guy Levy, 21, from Kfar Vradim, Staff Sergeant Guy Boiland, 21, of Ginosar, Staff Sergeant Amit Yeori, 20, from Jerusalem, Abraham Grinzweig, 20, of Petah Tikva and Staff Sergeant Gal Basson, 20, from Holon were killed in Gaza.
Cpt. Liad Lavi, 22 and Chief Warrant Officer Rami Chalon, 39, both injured in battle, died of their wounds Saturday. In total, 43 IDF soldiers have been killed in the fighting during the operation.
Since midnight, three rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel. Over the weekend, more than 22 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel. At least 16 rockets hit Israel. 6 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF struck over 40 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.
Since the start of Operation ‘Protective Edge’, more than 2450 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel. The IDF has targeted over 3,747 terror targets with ground, naval and aerial capabilities, including 31 tunnels.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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