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Unilateral Gaza Ceasefire Collapses. Israeli Air Strikes Resume After Dozens of Palestinian Rockets in Hours

By DEBKAfile, Israel Hayom, VOANews & IsraelNationalNews

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz issued a tough message to Hamas in a joint televised appearance Tuesday night after Hamas fired more than 100 rockets against dozens of Israeli locations during the day. Netanyahu said that after Hamas had rejected the Egyptian truce, Israel would go for its terrorist infrastructure on all fronts. Gantz said that while keeping track of Israel's Syrian and Lebanese borders, the IDF was most intensively engaged in offensive and defensive action for cutting Hamas down.

According to first reports, four rockets were fired from Gaza at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, against central Israeli towns - Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva and Rishon Lezion. Three were intercepted. No immediate reports of casualties. By then, Hamas had fired up to 100 rockets against Israel since the morning, of which 20 were intercepted. The latest rounds also targeted Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon, Dimona and the border populations. Israeli air strikes continued against Hamas rocket stores, manufacturing sites and command centers.

Netanyahu and Ya'alon ordered the Israeli Air Force to resume strikes over Gaza Tuesday afternoon, six hours after a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, was due to go into effect. During those hours, dozens of Hamas rockets raked town after town and village after village.

Straight after the ceasefire was due to go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m., Hamas fired 20 rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli security cabinet had meanwhile endorsed Cairo's proposal to mediate the conflict with the Palestinian extremists, but warned that if they continued to fire rockets, Israel would hit back with "all possible force." In Cairo, Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuk took responsibility for eight of the post-"truce" rockets, most of which landed on Ashdod, slightly injuring one woman. Iron Dome intercepted four.

Netanyahu said he would have preferred to solve the conflict "diplomatically," but actions by Hamas leave "no choice but to expand and intensify the campaign against it." An Israeli citizen was killed by rocket fire Tuesday near the Erez crossing into Gaza, the first Israeli casualty since the offensive began last week. Palestinian health officials say 194 Palestinians have died in the latest conflict to date. The small number of Israeli casualties is attributed in large part to its new Iron Dome missile defense system, which has intercepted rockets above several Israeli cities.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman defended his country's right to defend itself during a visit to a rocket-hit town with his Italian counterpart. "We understand that we're still in the midst of the battles. They still continue with the launching, and Hamas is aiming only [at the] civilian population. And you can imagine if this is to happen in every country. Can you imagine rockets on Roma or Napoli? Can somebody imagine rockets on Washington or New York? And I think that we must retaliate," said Lieberman.

After a day without power, electricity was restored to some 70,000 Gazans when the Israeli government gave the Israel Electric Corp. the green light to repair a high-power line damaged by a rocket on Saturday.

The Israeli military said that one of the rockets fired by Gaza terrorists Sunday night "hit an electricity infrastructure in Israel that supplied electricity to the Gaza Strip, causing a power outage to some 70,000 Gaza civilians."

The IEC employees dispatched to repair the damage were accompanied by Israel Defense Forces soldiers and outfitted with bulletproof vests. They wore special helmets as well to minimize the threat of shrapnel injuries.

Dror Hanin, who succumbed to his wounds after being injured by Gaza mortar fire on the Erez Crossing on Tuesday evening, was a 37-year-old father of three from Beit Aryeh. The incident marks the first Israeli death since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.

Itzik Cohen, a childhood friend and neighbor, said he was "full of humor and always ready to help, there are few people like him, always willing to help and to contribute. Unfortunately, he paid for his kind heart with his life."

Hanin arrived at the border crossing to distribute food and drinks to soldiers awaiting a possible ground invasion into the Strip. He was critically injured and evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, before succumbing to his wounds. A 45-year-old male was also injured by the shrapnel from the mortar round, sustaining light injuries.

The barrage on the border crossing occurred three hours after Israeli officially declared the unilateral ceasefire attempt had failed. The mortar fire was part of a larger rocket salvo launched around 7 pm, which included dozens of rockets fired on Gaza border communities, Negev towns, and the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services on Monday offered to transfer blood units and donations to Gaza Strip, but the humanitarian gesture was rejected by the Palestinian Authority.

According to MDA Director Eli Bin, the organization then offered to assist the PA by facilitating blood drives involving Palestinian or Israeli Arab donors, but that offer was rejected as well.

Bin described Israel's attempt help Palestinian medical facilities as "a humanitarian gesture. I believe in it -- this brings us respect as human beings."

Israelis have found a new way to learn of imminent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in the form of a mobile phone app. Hamas terrorists have fired more than 1,000 rockets from Gaza at Israeli cities in the past week. Typically, air raid sirens blare and residents have between 15 and 90 seconds to head to bomb shelters and safe rooms in their homes.

Many have also downloaded an application called Red Alert to their phones that also warns of incoming rockets. "The initial thought was to help people in the south. We didn't think we would need to help people in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but we do," said Ari Sprung, a co-developer of the app.

The app has been downloaded by some 500,000 Israelis on their Android and iPhones, with another 50,000 in the United States having downloaded an English version. Once a rocket is fired, Israel's military sounds sirens and also notifies Red Alert's servers. Its servers crashed at the outset when rocket fire turned to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but they were quickly back up with stronger servers.

"The No 1 reason we created it was to save lives," said the US-born Sprung, who works at Jerusalem start-up Curiyo. "I hope I can un-publish it in the future."

Hamas 'Takes Over' Channel 10


Terrorists from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's "military wing", were able to take over the broadcast of Israel's Channel 10 on Monday evening. Some viewers who tuned in to the channel reported seeing wounded persons from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

The pictures of the wounded were accompanied by the following text, "Your government chose the opening hour of this campaign. If your government does not agree to our terms, then prepare yourself for an extended stay in shelters."

The Second Authority for Television and Radio said that Hamas was able to take over Channel 10 through a satellite. As a result, only viewers who own a satellite saw the Hamas caption and not viewers with digital converters. This is not the first time that Hamas took over Channel 10's broadcasts. It did the same to both Channel 10 and Channel 2 during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Rocket Kills 30 Cows at Gaza-Border Kibbutz


While much of the media coverage of rocket fire on Israel has focused on long-range attacks on central Israel, footage has emerged illustrating the great economic impact of ongoing rocket attacks on the small "Gaza envelope" communities - villages and kibbutzim which have endured more than a decade of ceaseless rocket and mortar fire.

In the aftermath of a rocket attack on an agricultural kibbutz on the border with Gaza 30 cows were left dead after the shrapnel-filled rockets hit a cowshed, dealing a serious blow to the livelihood of the farmer in question, and further highlighting just how deadly such attacks would be had Israel not invested so heavily in defense systems such as bomb shelters, early-warning alarms and the Iron Dome missile defense system.

In response to the incident farmers unions have urged the government to do more to protect the livelihood of ranchers and farmers in the area.

ADL Issues Security Advisory to Jewish Institutions Worldwide

By Israel Hayom Staff

The Anti-Defamation League on Monday issued a special security advisory to Jewish institutions and synagogues worldwide following the recent series of violent anti-Israel demonstrations over Operation Protective Edge in Gaza Strip. The advisory urged heightened vigilance among all Jewish institutions and recommended they take special steps to bolster whatever security measures they had in place.

"The events taking place in Israel and the Gaza Strip have resulted in tense atmospheres at anti-Israel rallies in Europe and across the United States," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said. "While most of the demonstrations in the U.S. have been peaceful, we are encouraging Jewish institutions, organizations and synagogues to have a heightened sense of awareness, particularly in light of what is happening overseas."

More than 50 anti-Israel demonstrations have taken place across the U.S. since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge last week. "The tenor at some of the anti-Israel rallies has been extreme with protestors chanting 'Death to Israel' and other hateful messages and slogans," the ADL said.

The organization has been working with communities around the country and overseas to encourage institutions to have sufficient protection, especially when international events have the potential to cause harm, the statement said.

The Five Missile-Alert Torah Commandments


You've heard of the Ten Commandments - now one Israeli rabbi has compiled his own list for Israelis facing Gaza rocket fire. A Jew's life is largely governed by the 613 mitzvot (Torah commandments) - both positive ones that must be pro-actively fulfilled and negative deeds that must be avoided.

Now, probably for the first time ever, a mitzvah guide for missile alert sirens has been compiled. Various collections and listings of mitzvot performed at specific times have been put together over the years. For instance, there are at least 20 such deeds that can and should be performed between awakening in the morning and the end of the morning prayers. But certainly the latest compilation – five Torah commandments that should be fulfilled upon hearing an air-raid siren warning of a deadly Hamas missile – is a first.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, the well-known and popular rabbi of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood in Bnei Brak, compiled the list, together with the members of the Beit David Kollel he heads in Holon. His list of mitzvot to be performed when learning of the advent of a Hamas missile is as follows:

  1. Upon hearing the siren, one should imbue his heart with complete trust in God, the knowledge that He directs all events, and the certainty that every bullet and rocket has a Divinely-designated address. The Rambam (Maimonides), whose listing of the 613 Torah commandments is the most authoritative, does not list this mitzvah specifically, though it is certainly connected to the commandments to know that God exists, to love Him, and to fear Him.

  2. One must pray, by reciting a chapter of Psalms or other prayer, that the oncoming rocket not harm any Jew, and that it be successfully intercepted if necessary. The Torah commands us to pray for salvation when we face trouble and tribulation.

  3. One must also engage in thoughts of repentance. The Rambam writes, "It is a positive Torah commandment to cry out and sound trumpets for every tribulation that faces the community; this is one of the ways to engage in teshuvah, repentance... in the knowledge that the troubles stem from [our] evil deeds…"

  4. After the rocket is intercepted or falls harmlessly in an open area, we are bidden to express our thanks to God for His kindnesses. The Baal HaShe'iltot wrote that thanking God for a miracle is a positive Torah commandment.

  5. One who is safe in his home during a missile alert must remember those who are in the street frantically searching for a safe area. He must open his door for them, thus fulfilling two mitzvot in one: Hospitality and saving others from danger.

Regarding the commandment to give thanks, Rabbi Zilberstein added the following "bonus" concept: A verse in Psalms (35,18) praising public thanksgiving says "I will thank You in a great congregation, amidst a large nation I will praise You."

In gematriya [numerology], the letters of the verse add up to 774 – precisely the current Jewish calendar year of this, the sixth millennium.

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