July 13, 2014

In Blog


LIVE UPDATES: IDF special forces raid long-range rocket launching site

Residents of north Gaza warned to evacuate by noon; four soldiers lightly wounded; military warns residents of northern Gaza to evacuate region; airstrike on home of Gaza’s police chief kills 21.

By Haaretz Jul. 13, 2014 | 11:23 AM |  3

Palestinian families travel to a UN school in Gaza City to seek shelter after evacuating their homes north of the Strip, on July 13, 2014. Photo by AFP

Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 12, 2014. Photo by AFP

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge entered its sixth day on Sunday, as the death toll in Gaza mounted to 157 Palestinians, while the international community stepped up pressures to reach a cease-fire.

On Saturday evening, rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel’s north for the first time since the current round of fighting began. No damage was caused. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire into Lebanese territory.

Later on Saturday, Israel struck the home of Gaza’s police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh, an attack which proved to be the deadliest since the start of the operation. Twenty-one people were killed and 35 were wounded, among them Al-Batsh.


For Saturday’s live updates, click here

Latest updates:

11:25 A.M. Israel Police arrest 10 Arabs after clashes break out on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rioters hurled stones at the officers, wounding two.

10:56 A.M. Three rockets explode in open areas in the Merhavim Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)

10:50 A.M. Three rockets explode in open areas near Be’er Sheva. (Shirley Seidler)

10: 30 A.M. Over the past week 53 rockets have been fired toward Be’er Sheva, the municipality says; 24 were intercepted, 27 fell in open areas and two hit within the city. One woman was lightly wounded. (Shirley Seidler)

10:28 A.M. Rioters hurl rocks and fireworks at police on Temple Mount, wounding two officers. The site has been closed to visitors. (Nir Hasson)

10:22 A.M. The Iron Dome intercepts a rocket over Ashkelon. (Gili Cohen)

9:43 A.M. Some 800 Gazans with foreign passports begin leaving the Strip via the Erez Crossing. (Gili Cohen) 

9:00 A.M. Organizers have canceled Neil Young’s scheduled concert forThursday, citing inability to provide adequate security for such a mass audience.

“Unfortunately, we are forced to announce that Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s concert scheduled for this Thursday in Park Hayarkon has been canceled, in light of the rocket attacks of the recent days and concern for the security of the audience at an event with so many people,” promoter Shuki Weiss said in a statement. “Information regarding refunds and the cancelation of tickets will be released in a press statement and ticket offices by Friday.”

8:45 A.M. The Lebanese army is searching for sites from which rockets were fired toward the Western Galilee. (Jack Khoury)

8:40 A.M. Five rockets explode in the Eshkol Regional Council. Three hit within a town; house damaged. (Shirley Seidler)

8:33 A.M. Israel has struck some 1,320 targets in Gaza since launching Operation Protective Edge last Tuesday. More than 800 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel in that time. (Gili Cohen)   

8:28 A.M. The IDF strikes a rocket launcher in northern Gaza. (Gili Cohen)

Six people are treated at a hospital in Nahariya for very light wounds and shock caused by the rocket fire from Lebanon. (Eli Ashkenazi) 

8:15 A.M. The IDF launches an investigation into the incident that critically wounded Hamas police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh in Gaza City. The defense establishment has found that 21 people were killed in the incident, some of whom were terror operatives, according to an IDF officer.

The military decided to target Al-Batsh’s home after learning that it housed operatives suspected of planning rocket attacks. Evidently, dozens were leaving the mosque next door during the strike, which therefore resulted in numerous casualties. Contradicting previous reports, defense officials say residents were not warned of the forthcoming strike. (Gili Cohen) 

8:00 A.M. A senior IDF officer tells military reporters that the commando raid on the Al-Sudaniya beach successfully neutralized long-range rocket launchers. According to the officer, the naval forces exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen. Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft struck nearby areas. (Gili Cohen)

7:35 A.M. The Israeli military is dropping leaflets over Beit Lahia, in the Gaza Strip’s north, warning residents to evacuate the area ahead of planned airstrikes, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit says. The warning is also issued via text and recorded messages. Residents are advised to travel south before noon.

“The IDF’s operation is meant to be brief,” the message says. “Anyone who fails to heed the IDF’s instructions will put his and his family’s lives at risk. Beware.” 

7:15 A.M. The IDF confirms that three rockets were fired on Saturday evening toward the Western Galilee, in Israel’s north. Two were found. The security forces continue to search for the third. (Gili Cohen)

6: 18 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts three rockets above central Israel, one above Ashdod. (Gili Cohen)

6:02 A.M. Rocket sirens sounded from southern Israel to Ben Gurion International Airport. Sirens were sounded in Ashdod, Rishon Lezion, Lod, Nes Ziona, Modi’in, and in other towns and cities. (Haaretz)

5:25 A.M. Rocket alert sounded in Eshkol Regional Council. (Haaretz)

4:52 A.M. The Israeli naval commando raid in Gaza reported earlier occurred in the Al-Sudaniya beach to the northwest of the Strip, Al Jazeera reported. The Israeli force encountered Palestinian gunmen, and a battle ensued which included the use of heavy arms. Palestinian sources said three Hamas fighters were killed, DPA reported. (Gili Cohen)

4:01 A.M. Rocket siren sounded in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council (Haaretz)

3:50 A.M. Israel Navy’s Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) commando unit raided a target in the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported. According to the IDF, the target was a compound from which long-range rockets were fired. Four soldiers were lightly wounded in the raid, and taken to hospitals for treatment. (Gili Cohen)

2:21 A.M. The death toll of the airstrike on the house of Gaza’s police chief rises to 18, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports. According to the spokesperson of the Gaza’s emergency services, this is the highest number of victims from a single strike since hostilities began. 35 people were wounded in the attack, among them the police chief, Tayseer Al-Batsh. According to the report, in another attack on the town of Rafah three were killed, and five wounded. (Jack Khoury)

1:20 A.M. Dozens of right-wingers attack leftist demonstrators with clubs in central Tel Aviv after a rocket siren sounds Saturday evening. Click for full story. (Yarden Skop)

00:30 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts two rockets above Ashdod in southern Israel. Two rockets explode in open areas in Be’er Sheva, and two other landings were located in Netivot. (Gili Cohen)

00:17 A.M. Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports one man killed and five wounded in last hour after Israel Air Force strikes Rafah, Gaza Strip, raising death count since the operation started to 151.