Airlines temporarily suspend flights as Gaza battle continues


Three Israeli soldiers died yesterday, another presumed dead was missing and scores of Palestinians were also killed as the conflict in Gaza showed little sign of easing.

Three soldiers, two from the Armoured Corps and one paratrooper were killed during the fighting yesterday, one by sniper fire. Meanwhile, the IDF announced yesterday that 20-year-old Oron Shaul was missing, having been in an armoured personnel carrier which was hit by Hamas on Sunday which killed six members of Shaul’s squad. Although his fate cannot yet be verified, Shaul is assumed to have been killed in the attack, although Hamas claims to have captured him.

Meanwhile, 89 rockets from Gaza were fired on Israel yesterday, with the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepting around 20, including a number in the Tel Aviv area. One rocket hit the Bedouin city of Rahat and another landed in Yehud, about a mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, prompting a number of American and European airlines to temporarily suspend flights in and out of the airport.

The IDF said that it struck around 200 targets in the Gaza Strip yesterday, around half in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City, which has seen especially fierce fighting. The army said that it was continuing to destroy tunnels used by Hamas to launch attacks on Israel and that forces were engaging Hamas cells. Israel Radio reported that Israel’s Air Force last night targeted the home of Mohammed Deif, commander of Hamas’s military wing. Also yesterday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) confirmed that for the second time in a week, it had found rockets stored in one of its schools in Gaza.

Meanwhile, according to Ynet, Palestinians reported that at least 50 people were killed in the fighting yesterday. They said that a total of 620 Palestinians had been killed since Operation Protective Edge commenced over two weeks ago. UNWRA estimated that around 102,000 people had taken refuge from the fighting in 69 of its Gaza schools.