Real Time Web Analytics

Gaza 72-hour ceasefire lasts less than 72 minutes as Israeli tanks open fire and kill four Palestinians

UK Daily Mail

MARK DUELL and SIMON TOMLINSON 

 

 

The Foreign Office is urgently investigating reports that a soldier thought to have been captured by Hamas fighters in Gaza is a British Israeli.

Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, is believed to be from a family of British Jewish immigrants and the third cousin of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.

He disappeared as a humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the United States and the United Nations collapsed into more bloodshed and violence just hours after it was supposed to take effect.

Sources say Israel have threatened to ‘level’ Gaza if Lt Goldin is not released.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are aware of these reports and we are urgently looking into them.’

Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said that the apparent abduction took place when Palestinian gunmen emerged from their network of tunnels with at least one fighter detonating an explosives vest.

Scroll down for video

Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, who is believed to have been kidnapped, is thought to be from a family of British Jewish immigrants and the third cousin of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon

Smoke billows following an Israeli military strike east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Israel has accused Hamas of kidnapping Lt Hadar Goldin (left), who is believed to be from a family of British Jewish immigrants, as the ceasefire collapsed (right)

 

Homeless: Members of the Al Kafarna family react as they inspect the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Beit Hanun

Homeless: Members of the Al Kafarna family react as they inspect the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Beit Hanun

Agony: Seven-year-old Ahmad Al Kafarna cries over the rubble of his destroyed house in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip as a humanitarian ceasefire broke down

Agony: Seven-year-old Ahmad Al Kafarna cries over the rubble of his destroyed house in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip as a humanitarian ceasefire broke down

Nowhere to go: A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood after it was hit by Israeli shelling

Nowhere to go: A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood after it was hit by Israeli shelling

In the ensuing mayhem, Lt Goldin was apparently captured and taken back into Gaza through a tunnel, while another two soldiers were killed.

‘We suspect that he has been kidnapped,’ Col Lerner said.

An Israeli official said the apparent abduction marked a ‘very dangerous escalation of violence’ and that there would be no three-day ceasefire.

Israel declared the Gaza ceasefire over today and killed more than 50 Palestinians in renewed shelling, saying militants had breached the truce shortly after it began by apparently capturing an Israeli soldier.

 

Israel and Hamas accused each other of breaking the ceasefire little more than an hour after it took effect at 8am (6am GMT).

The soldier, named as Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23,

The Israeli military says Gaza militants also fired eight rockets and mortars at Israel, one of which was intercepted.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said that in addition to the dead, some 200 Palestinians were wounded in the ‘random’ Israeli shelling of the Rafah area in southern Gaza.

Palestinians walk by the rubble of destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun as Hamas and Israel blamed each other for breaking the truce

Palestinians walk by the rubble of destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun as Hamas and Israel blamed each other for breaking the truce

Left in ruins: The three-week war has killed nearly 1,500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers

Left in ruins: The three-week war has killed nearly 1,500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers

 

 

 

He said the death toll could rise as rescue workers continue to search for people buried under the rubble of several apartment blocks hit by shells.

He did not say whether the victims were civilians or militants. Palestinian sources also claimed three other people were shot by Israeli sniper fire.

The Israeli military said one of its soldiers was ‘feared’ abducted, without providing further details.

‘Once again, Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza have blatantly broken the ceasefire to which they committed, this time before the American Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement shortly after the fighting broke out.

Israel launched an aerial campaign against Gaza aimed at halting Palestinian rocket fire on July 8 and later sent in ground troops to target launch sites and tunnels used by Hamas to carry out attacks inside Israel.

The war has killed at least 1,500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers.

Innocent victims: A mother cradles her two children, while other toddlers lies on a mat next to her, at a hospital in Rafah

Innocent victims: A mother cradles her two children, while other toddlers lies on a mat next to her, at a hospital in Rafah

 

 

Terrified: Palestinian children, whom medics say were wounded by Israeli shelling, receive treatment at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Terrified: Palestinian children, whom medics say were wounded by Israeli shelling, receive treatment at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Traumatised: Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said that in addition to the dead, some 200 Palestinians were wounded in 'random' Israeli shelling of the Rafah area

Traumatised: Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said that in addition to the dead, some 200 Palestinians were wounded in ‘random’ Israeli shelling of the Rafah area

Shocking: A Palestinian girl injured in an Israeli assault on Rafah cries as she receives treatment at the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Gaza City

Shocking: A Palestinian girl injured in an Israeli assault on Rafah cries as she receives treatment at the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Gaza City

At least four short humanitarian ceasefires have been announced since the conflict began, but each has been broken within a few hours by renewed fighting.

Today’s temporary ceasefire was the longest to be announced thus far.

Under the ceasefire, Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza were to continue to destroy tunnels along the heavily guarded frontier, but only those that are behind Israeli defensive lines and lead into Israel.

Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to destroy Hamas’ tunnel network ‘with or without a ceasefire.’

 

 

Near miss: Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip

Near miss: Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip

Blitzed: Smoke billows from buildings following Israeli military strikes near Rafah in the Gaza Strip that killed at least eight people two hours into a three-day ceasefire

Blitzed: Smoke billows from buildings following Israeli military strikes near Rafah in the Gaza Strip that killed at least eight people two hours into a three-day ceasefire

Reduced to rubble: Medics said at least 35 people were killed and 150 wounded in intensive Israeli shelling on buildings in southern Gaza

Reduced to rubble: Medics said at least 35 people were killed and 150 wounded in intensive Israeli shelling on buildings in southern Gaza

 

 

But military spokesman Moti Almoz told Army Radio today that Israel would not be able to eliminate the tunnel threat ‘100 per cent.’

Soon after the ceasefire went into force, Gaza’s residents took advantage of the truce to return to their homes, many of which had been destroyed in the fighting. Some arrived on tuk-tuks – three-wheeled taxis – by car or on foot to retrieve their belongings.

Near a main road in in the heavily bombarded Gaza district of Shijaiyah, less than a mile from the Israeli border, residents surveyed extensive damage.

Basem Abul Qumbus returned to find his three-story home – in which he had invested tens of thousands of dollars – uninhabitable.

 

Onslaught: Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier outside the Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before the ceasefire was due to begin

Onslaught: Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier outside the Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before the ceasefire was due to begin

 

GAZA ‘DISASTER ZONE’ AFTER WATER SUPPLIES CUT

The Gaza Strip has become a ‘disaster zone’ because basic water and sewage services can’t be provided to its 1.8million residents, the head of the Palestinian water authority has said.

The warning came after the territory’s only power plant was shut down after Israeli shells set its fuel tank on fire. 

Rebhi al-Sheikh said: ‘We are unable to perform our duties amid a total power outage and lack of fuel in Gaza.

‘We are no longer able to provide potable water to residential units, shelters or hospitals.’

He called on the UN to ‘act quickly to prevent a real disaster’ and to protect utility workers after six were killed ‘in direct targeting’ by Israeli forces, it was reported by World Bulletin.

 

Tank shells had punched a hole in the ceiling of one bedroom and a wall had collapsed into the kitchen.

‘The work of all those years is gone,’ he said, as he struggled to salvage flour from bags that had been torn apart by shrapnel. Food supplies are running short in the blockaded coastal territory in the war’s fourth week.

Egypt issued a statement early Friday calling on the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and Israel to send negotiation teams to Cairo to discuss ‘all issues of concern to each party within the framework of the Egyptian initiative.’

Egypt had put forth a cease-fire proposal a week after fighting began last month. Israel accepted the proposal, but Hamas, which deeply mistrusts Egypt following last summer’s overthrow of an Islamist government in Cairo, rejected it.

Hamas has demanded the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007 when the Islamic militant group seized power, as well as the release of Palestinians rounded up in the West Bank in June following the killing of three Israeli teenagers.

In recent weeks Turkey and Qatar, which have warmer ties to Hamas but are at odds with Egypt, have tried to help broker a cease-fire agreement, with no results.

It’s not clear whether other nations will attend the Egypt talks, and aides to Kerry said Egypt will ultimately decide who will participate. A Hamas official in Qatar said Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials would be participating. Israel will not meet directly with members of either group because it considers them terrorist organizations.

Hours before the cease-fire was to take effect, 17 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes, including 10 from the same family, according to al-Kidra, the Health Ministry official in Gaza. He said the family members were killed in an airstrike on their home in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fleeting peace: Gaza City seen shortly before the start of a 72-hour ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas to allow for bodies to be recovered and funerals held

Fleeting peace: Gaza City seen shortly before the start of a 72-hour ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas to allow for bodies to be recovered and funerals held

 

 

 

 

 

Israel’s military said five of its soldiers were killed along the Gaza border Thursday evening by a mortar round.

At least 1,496 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since hostilities began July 8, according to Palestinian officials. Israel says 61 of its soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.

Hours ahead of the cease-fire, Gaza police reported heavy Israeli tank shelling in northern and eastern Gaza, and the loud exchange of fire with militants could be heard across Gaza City.

Tank shells slammed into the city itself, setting homes and shops ablaze.

Hamas fighters hit an Israeli tank with an anti-tank missile, Gaza police said. The militants then attacked Israeli troops who came to evacuate the tank crew. Clashes continued into the early morning hours, police said.

 

The Israeli military said it was looking into the matter.

Israeli police meanwhile warned residents to stay away from Israeli communities near the Gaza border during the cease-fire, saying the area remains ‘a war zone.’

‘We ask the public to heed the orders of the police and army and not to go to the Gaza Strip border area, it is a threat to your life!!!’ the police said in a statement.

Police said Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in a number of neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, and that Israelis attacked an empty bus.

Police also restricted the entry of worshippers to a key Muslim holy site in the city to prevent disturbances.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712656/Israel-Hamas-agree-72-hour-humanitarian-ceasefire-starting-morning.html#ixzz399NlZhBq
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

About Nathan Laurenson

Editor at The Daily Resistance, Citizen Journalist, Activist and Co Host Of Battle Of New Orleans Radio On 990 AM WGSO Airs 8pm Wed.| Resist Daily