A ground operation in the Gaza Strip has been launched by Tel Aviv following more than a week of Hamas shelling the country and the IDF responding with air strikes. Over 200 Palestinians and one Israeli have died in the violence.
DAILY RECAP: Day 14 of Operation Protective Edge. In 4 days, we have uncovered 23 Hamas terror tunnels pic.twitter.com/lXT87EQ3tq— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 22, 2014
The US is going to send US $47 million in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to help tens of thousands of Palestinians who have been forced from their homes after Israel launched its offensive operation two weeks ago, reports AP. About $15 million of that money will go to the United Nations' refugee mission in Gaza, according to a State Department breakdown of the aid released Monday.
Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to discuss the aid with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a meeting late Monday in Cairo. The American diplomat is in the Egyptian capital to help broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.
Al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in Gaza City is hit by an Israeli strike, according to Physicians for Human Rights. Several people have been wounded.
Gaza residents report heavy artillery, naval shelling and helicopter fire along the Gaza border.
— αηιs (@theblogpirate) July 17, 2014
Israel's ground invasion of Gaza will have "dreadful consequences", Hamas says.
"It does not scare the Hamas leaders or the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. "We warn Netanyahu of the dreadful consequences of such a foolish act."
Beachfront hotels given 30 mins to evacuate. Just over 20 mins ago. #Gaza— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) July 17, 2014
The Israeli ground forces are to strike Palestinian militant sites throughout Gaza, but the operation does not seek to topple Hamas rule, the Israeli military said.
“We are now continuing with the ground forces to strike terrorist infrastructure, Hamas infrastructure, in multiple areas throughout the Gaza Strip," army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said.
BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun.— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 17, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza, his office said.
"The prime minister and defence minister have instructed the IDF to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel," the statement said.
Reports on Twitter indicate intensive shelling of the Gaza Strip, both from land and air.
It's raining bombs across Gaza Strip now from sea, land and air... Israel is bombing everything... #GazaUnderAttack
— فلسطين i (@iFalasteen) July 17, 2014
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has launched an investigation after 20 rockets were found hidden in one of its vacant schools in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
“UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations,” the agency said in a statement. “This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.”
The incident was the first of its kind, UNRWA stressed, warning that it “endangered civilians, including staff, and put at risk UNRWA's vital mission.”