Sunday, August 24, 2014

Barrage Of Rockets Hit Israel; Hamas Head Says No Return To Talks

Barrage Of Rockets Hit Before Midnight; Hamas Head Says No Return To Talks

The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold through Monday, August 25, the 49th day of Operation Protective Edge. Hamas pounded southern Israel with about 140 rockets on Sunday. Daniel Tragerman, killed by Hamas mortar fire Friday in his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was laid to rest. Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel was stepping up its strikes on Hamas targets, and that the operation might extend into the new school year next month.

Heartwrenching funeral; pledge from Netanyahu

Sunday was marked by the agonizing funeral of Daniel Tragerman, 4, killed when a mortar shell from Gaza sent shrapnel into his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz before he could get to the family’s protected room.
As hundreds attended his funeral, Netanyahu was giving a press conference at which he said to residents of Israel’s rocket-battered south: “We are with you, and we will stay with you until the quiet is restored, and afterward as well.”

135 rockets fired at Israel in past 24 hours — IDF

The army said in a statement just before midnight Sunday that 135 rockets were shot at Israel in the past 24 hours.

Mashaal rejects return to talks

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told Iranian TV late Sunday that “resistance” was the only effective means to secure its demands from Israel, and rejected the option of returning to the negotiating table.
“The negotiations did not succeed because Israel did not want to give a positive answer to the reasonable requests of the Palestinians,” he said, according to a translation by Ynet.
“We know resistance is the only way to break free of the burden of the Zionist regime.”
The Qatar-based official also addressed the recent wave of executions of alleged Palestinian “collaborators” with Israel. He said Hamas has managed to “purify” the Palestinians of its “spies.”
Obtaining information on the Palestinians through its intelligence has always been “a strong point of the Zionist regime,” Mashaal added.

Southern Israel came under a massive rocket attack just before midnight on Sunday night.
“Moments ago, four rockets were fired at Ashkelon from Gaza,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Twitter.
Four rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over the city of Kiryat Malachi.

Sirens were also heard in the Eshkol Region of southern Israel and in Beit Guvrin, near Kiryat Gat.

There were no reported injuries or damages in any of the attacks. The IDF noted that over the last 24 hours, terrorists have fired 135 rockets at Israel.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Jerusalem came under rocket fire as well. "Color red" rocket sirens were heard in Beit Shemesh and several communities in the Jerusalem Hills, including Abu Gosh and Nave Ilan, as well as communities adjacent to Jerusalem such as Ora, Aminadav and Tzur Hadassah.

At least one rocket reportedly was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the Jerusalem Hills region. Residents of Jerusalem report hearing several loud booms from the distance, indicating that the attack consisted of several missiles.
Hamas's rocket war has been continuing at full intensity, with figures on Sunday indicating over 570 rockets have been fired over the past five days; over 100 rockets were fired on Sunday alone.

In the early afternoon a salvo of roughly 13 mortar shells was fired according to Hamas, wounding five Israelis, two of them critically.

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