HAVANA TIMES — Welcome to this Week in Palestine – Gaza Special Coverage, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 26th, to the August 1st, 2014.
This week Israeli attacks caused a Humanitarian ceasefire to collapse. The death toll in Gaza has reached over 1,493 with no end in sight to Israeli attacks on the coastal region.
A 72-hour ceasefire collapsed only 90 minutes after it went into effect on Friday morning when the Israeli military shelled the southern Gaza Strip City of Rafah. According to Palestinian medical sources at least 47 Palestinians were killed on Friday. The Israeli military claims the shelling came in response to a group of Palestinian fighters ambushing Israeli soldiers inside the Rafah area including the capture of an Israeli soldier alive, according to Israeli sources.
Meanwhile, Hamas said the attack on the soldiers took place before the cease-fire went into effect, and Israel used the capture of the soldier as a pretext to break the cease-fire.
The Palestinian Ministry of health reports at least 1,493 killed and at least 8,000 injured since Israeli started its war on Gaza on July 8th.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the cease-fire in a statement Thursday, followed by negotiations in Cairo. However, due to this violation of the cease-fire, Egypt said it will not welcome the negotiating teams unless a cease-fire is in effect.
Israel accepted the 72-hour cease fire apparently to ease the pressure it is under after targeting a school that belongs to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, killing more than 15 Palestinian civilians who took the school as a shelter after their homes were destroyed by Israeli bombardment.
Israel demands any cease-fire to include allowing its troops to search for and destroy tunnels, meanwhile the Palestinian resistance demands a lift of the imposed siege before any long-term cease fire can be accepted.
On the ground Palestinian and international aid workers are racing against time to get supplies to residents in Gaza while being under constant threat of attacks by Israeli war planes. Recent reports show that more than 240,000 people have now fled their homes.
Refugees have nowhere safe to go or clean water and food supplies since Israeli destroyed the water and electricity systems. The Destruction of sanitation plants risks raw sewage contaminating the water and increasing the risk of disease.
In the West Bank this week two youth were killed by Israeli troops gunfire during clashes that erupted at a number of west Bank communities when Israeli soldiers attacked pro-Gaza protests. Friday saw an increase of clashes.
One youth was killed in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem on Friday midday. A few hours later another youth was killed near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Meanwhile 70 civilians were injured in Hebron. Palestinian medical sources said that soldiers used live ammunition and tear gas against the unarmed protesters all over the West Bank.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine – Gaza Special Coverage . This was the Weekly report for July 26th, to August 1st, 2014 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website atwww.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi, and Ghassan Bannoura.