We report on the latest developments in Israel and Gaza with photos and updates from our correspondents on the ground as well as other news sources.
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NOTE: Our Live Stream has been paused for the time being. We continue our coverage of the situation through news updates, in-depth stories, op-eds and analysis. Our correspondents on the ground will keep track of developments on Twitter, follow us here.
1805h: Aggression will stop in about an hour, in 24 hours they will open up the borders. Egypt will be the guarantoor. Other terms will be discussed at a later date. Hence, work on a truce is not yet finished.
1757h: Egyptian President Morsi has made a statement where he confirmed the ceasefire. He also emphasized Egypt’s support of the Palestinian cause. The conditions of the ceasefire remain unknown.
1740h: AJE reporter in Jerusalem also says that Netanyahu has garnered a lot of public support due to his decisive leadership during the crisis. However, a ground operation could have changed that significantly, she adds.
1738h: AJE reporter says the “eyes in Israel” will be on honouring this ceasefire.
1735h: After eight days of intense fighting, it appears that the violence has come to an end the time being. There are still concerns about enforcing, brokering and honouring the ceasefire.
1734h: “The deal has been agreed,” a senior Hamas official said.
1733h: A ceasefire has been announced between Hamas and Israeli forces from 19 GMT.
1635h: Rami Khrais writes in a new op-ed for Your Middle East that “The escalation in Gaza is taking place in a different political environment in the Middle East.”
1440h: Video of pro-Israel rally at Tel Aviv University after the bus bombing earlier today. See clip here.
1401h: An Israeli who wishes to remain anonymous just sent us this comment as a response to the snapshot of the Twitter feed seen below:
“Why on earth would kids be at a well-known targeted office building? The IDF drops leaflets to tell civilians to clear areas surrounding targeted buildings and somehow kids are still left hanging around?”
1345h: Officials suspended a football game between Athletic Bilbao and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in Israel, the Spanish club said Wednesday.
1337h: “We are proud to defend the people of Palestine and Hamas … and that our assistance to them has been both financial and military,” Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said without elaborating, in remarks reported by parliament’s website, ICANA.ir.
1312h: IRGC commander says Fajr-5 rockets were not sent to Gaza from Iran, but confirms that the technology was transmitted. He says Iran is supportive of a ceasefire if it benefits Gaza’s people.
1226h: Our correspondent in Gaza has submitted a report entitled “Is Israel waging a war against journalists?”
The Israeli army has launched several attacks on the workspaces of journalists in Gaza, considered by many a violation against freedom of speech. The Israeli Defense Forces, on the other hand, claim that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are at fault as they take refuge in media buildings and press vehicles.
1219h: Another image sent to use from Tel Aviv University. Students told Your Middle East that security was enforced at campus.
1201h: Image we just received from the situation room at Tel Aviv University.
1158h: UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday.
“I reiterate my call for an immediate cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israeli populated centres. This is unacceptable,” he told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
1136h: AJE: Israeli war jets have just bombed Al-Yarmouk football stadium in Gaza city with more than 10 war jets attacks, only 10 metres from the Al Jazeera bureau.
1131h: A foreign student in Tel Aviv tells us that people are already drawing parallells to the second intifada. He also says that car pooling is now the preferred way of commuting in order to avoid taking the bus.
1130h: People rushing to the streets next to the place where the attack happened. Surroundings are have been destroyed.
1128h: From our Tel Aviv correspondent: People are worried there might be more attacks. Phones working again.
1127h: Times of Israel: Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai tells people to stay calm, and asks them to stay away from the bomb scene. “I urge everyone to stop shouting, stay calm,” he says. He says the security services have everything under control. “I don’t see any reason not to keep taking buses. People should continue with their normal lives.”
1112h: A man has been arrested near the Diamond Trade Center in Ramat Gan. Police are looking into his involvement in the bombing (Ynet).
1111h: Police are closing Azrieli shopping center to prevent a possible, extra terror attack, reports Times of Israel.
1105h: From Tel Aviv just now: “Security has been reinforced. Took me time to enter campus, security guards double checking every bag.”
1101h: Our Tel Aviv correspondent says Tel Aviv University calling on all international students to confirm that they are fine. She also says that people are “panicking” because phone lines have collapsed.
1050h: Tweet by @pdanahar: #Hamas claims responsibility over loudspeakers in #Gaza
1049h: AJE: could be more explosive devices in the area.
1041h: Haaretz: Police confirm no more explosive devices found on Tel Aviv bus.
1040h: April 11, 2006. That is the last time Tel Aviv was hit by a bomb blast of this “size”.
1039h: Celebratory gunfire rang out in Gaza City when local radio stations reported news of the Tel Aviv explosion, reports AJE.
1037h: Reports circulate that witnesses saw a man leave bomb on the bus.
1033h: @pdanahar: Mosque loud speakers in #Gaza described Tel Aviv bus bomb as a ‘victory from God’ #Israel
1032h: No fatalities have been reported in the Tel Aviv explosion.
1030h: Times of Israel: Hamas in Gaza is claiming that the attack was perpetrated by a suicide bomber.
1029h: 15 people are treated at the scene according to AJE.
1029h: Peter Greste, AJE correspondent in Cairo says that the explosion in Tel Aviv will now complicate the ceasefire talks and makes Hilary Clinton’s visit even more important.
1028h: Our Tel Aviv correspondent reports that “Internet in houses and phones not working. Only 3G”.
1025h: @AvitalLeibovich: A bus explodes under my Tel Aviv office. Possibly due to a bomb or suicide bomber. Hearing the sirens of the ambulances.
1021h: At least 10 people wounded in Tel Aviv blast. Reports not yet confirmed, but looks like it was close to the defense ministry.
1020h: Due to reports of a bomb in Tel Aviv we now resume our live stream coverage from the Israel-Gaza crisis.
0830h: The White House said on Tuesday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was going to the Middle East for talks in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo to try to calm the conflict. According to Reuters, an Israeli sources said she was expected to meet Israeli PM Netanyahu on Wednesday.
0822h: Our correspondent reports that Beer Sheva is under incessant rocket fire. 13 rockets were fired from Gaza into Beer Sheva this morning.
0601h: The head of the Arab League and a group of Arab foreign ministers will visit Gaza today to express their solidarity with the Palestinians. (AJE)
2350h: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu huddled late into the night Monday with his top ministers, a government source said, in what was understood to be a discussion about the Gaza operation.
Ministers in Netanyahu’s inner circle — the Forum of Nine — were reportedly in talks over whether to agree to a ceasefire or expand the air and naval campaign into a ground operation.
2224h: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged the Lebanese Shiite group’s support for the Hamas rulers of Gaza in the face of Israel’s air war Monday, insisting it was unaffected by differences over the conflict in Syria.
“Some are saying that Israel is punishing Hamas for they think it abandoned Iran, Syria and Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said in a speech beamed to supporters on a big screen in the Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut.
“Iran, Syria and Hezbollah will not give up on the people of Gaza and its resistance, and this is our religious and moral and humanitarian obligation,” he said.
The 20-month uprising in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has sparked a growing rift between it and Hamas.
Syrian members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, from which Hamas sprung, were among the first to participate when protests erupted against Assad’s rule in March last year. (AFP)
2101h: Latest report from our Tel Aviv correspondent:
“Following more than 24hours without rocket fire from Gaza into Tel Aviv, city life is back to normal: restaurants and bars are full.”
2055h: Our Gaza correspondent talks to Your Middle East’s managing editor over Skype and describes an intense moment from earlier today:
“I had just finished taking some of the pictures I sent you when the whole world shook around me, my camera went flying and I almost fell on my face, from an explosion somewhere.”
2044h: British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt arrived in Israel for a visit to both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, he is scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
After visiting rocket-struck Kiryat Malachi, Burt said, “I am gravely concerned about the current crisis, particularly the loss of civilian life on both sides.” (Times of Israel)
2025h: Dan Harel, former deputy chief of the Israeli military, said there was a maximum of 48 hours for Egyptian-led truce efforts to bear fruit or the troops would have to go in.
“There are two basic alternatives,” he told journalists in a Monday evening conference call.
“One is an agreement, cooked in Cairo, and the other is escalating the situation and moving forward into the Gaza Strip with a land effort, which is going to be bad for both sides,” he said in English. “We are about 24 to 48 hours from this junction.”
Military analyst Reuven Pedatzur told AFP on Monday that “a ground incursion would be a disaster.”
“What would they be aiming at doing? Reconquering the Strip? How long would they be there? There are no defined goals.
“Israel is now waiting for something to happen to be able to say, ‘Okay, we won, now we can stop'” without embarking upon a ground operation, he said.
2005h: Photo from our Gaza correspondent showing the press standing outside Al Shorouk tower, a media building for journalists, after it was hit earlier today.
1913h: In a new op-ed for Your Middle East on the Gaza-Israel crisis, Dr. Josef Olmert writes that “It is not about ideology…it is about the right to be free from fear.”
1856h:A group of 38 aid agencies on Monday urged the international community to take action to secure a ceasefire in Gaza to prevent “another widespread humanitarian disaster.”
The groups also called on the international community to pressure Israel to keep crossings into Gaza open to allow “essential humanitarian aid” into the territory as hostilities with Israel continue.
“World leaders cannot sit by while civilian casualties in Gaza and Israel continue to mount,” said Oxfam country director Nishant Pandey.
“We urgently need to enforce a ceasefire,” Pandey said in the statement, saying the ongoing conflict would only make life worse for civilians already suffering the impact of five years of an Israeli blockade and a devastating 22-day Israeli war between December 2008 and January 2009.
1820h: UN chief Ban Ki-moon to meet Israel’s PM Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas as part of a push for ceasefire.
“The secretary-general wishes to add his diplomatic weight to these efforts, which are considerable and extremely important,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. (AJE)
1645h: Seen on GPS blog: By Israel’s accounting, Operation Pillar of Defense has achieved many if not most of its major objectives: assassinating Hamas’ long-sought after military mastermind Ahmed Ja’abari and other top officials, destroying much of Hamas’ long-range arsenal of imported Iranian-produced Fajr-5 missiles, and eliminating other significant high-value military targets. Despite this, however, a number of unintended consequences have already emerged, ranging from the boosting of Hamas’ prominence, undermining its isolation, further weakening the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas, and diverting regional attention from Syria.
1640h: CNN reports that “In addition to the special Israeli delegation that traveled to Egypt on Monday, a steady stream of Arab League, U.N. and European diplomats were arriving in the region to promote a cease-fire.”
1556h: Tweeted by @HalaGorani: CNN/ORC poll (Nov 16/18): 57% of Americans say military action against Gaza is justified, 25% say it is unjustified. (+/- 3%)
1555h: An Islamic Jihad militant has been killed in an Israeli strike on a Gaza City building housing Palestinian and international media, the Islamist faction told AFP. Read the article here.
1547h: Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas said on Monday they have decided to end infighting in a show of solidarity in the West Bank over the Gaza crisis, an AFP reporter said.
“From here, we announce with other (factional) leaders, that we are ending the division,” senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub told a crowd of about 1,000 who gathered for a demonstration in Ramallah, the West Bank’s political capital.
1504h: Click here for a video showing CNN’s Anderson Cooper doing a live broadcast when a major explosion suddenly strikes close by in Gaza City.
1432h: BBC’s Middle East correspondent Wyre Davies tweeted: Another big explosion in #Gaza City
1318h: Our Gaza correspondent reiterates: “It’s still looking much calmer”.
1309h: Egypt’s truce negotiations are ongoing, a deal could be close, the Egyptian prime minister said on Monday, AJE reports.
“Negotiations are going on as we speak and I hope we will reach something soon that will stop this violence and counter violence,” Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said in an interview for the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.
“I think we are close, but the nature of this kind of negotiation, (means) it is very difficult to predict,” he said.
1256h: Retired Israeli Ambassador David Zohar just wrote in an op-ed for Your Middle East that “Israeli teenagers living within 50 km of the Gaza frontier have lived all their lives rushing into bomb shelters at a moment’s notice”.
1218h: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of carrying out “terrorist acts” in its bombardment of Gaza. (Reuters)
1145h: Reuters: Israel ready for ground invasion in the Gaza Strip but prefers diplomatic solution, a senior official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
1125h: The Israeli government admitted it had become the victim of a mass cyber-warfare campaign with millions of attempts to hack state websites since the start of its Gaza offensive.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said they had “deflected 44 million cyber attacks on government websites. All the attacks were thwarted except for one, which targeted a specific website that was down for six or seven minutes.”
He added that the country is now waging war on “a second front — of cyber attacks against Israel.”
1057h: Haaretz: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged Israel to show “restraint” in its defense against attacks from Gaza. “Of course Israel has the right to self-defense, and attacks against Israel must end. But the international community would also expect Israel to show restraint,” Rasmussen said.
1020h: Our Gaza correspondent reports that people evacuate from several areas. Photo taken yesterday.
1006h: YNET reported that Israel has 6 key demands for ceasefire, ground offensive in Gaza if no response within 48-72 hours.
1000h: IDF to expand operation within hours, not days, if no truce is reached, Israel’s finance minister tells Army Radio, reports Haaretz.
0955h: The Israeli army on Monday took over programming at a Gaza-based Hamas television station “to broadcast warnings,” as deadly violence between the sides entered its sixth day.
Al-Aqsa television, the official station of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, said in a statement the Israeli army “is interfering with Al-Aqsa TV,” with the picture going on and off for several hours and sometimes appearing scrambled.
“We took over the Hamas television to broadcast warnings,” a military spokeswoman said, indicating the takeover would probably last for a number of hours.
But AFP correspondents in Gaza said they could see no warning being sent out by the army.
0856h: IDF says that 95 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, reports Haaretz. One third of these were civilians.
0854h: US President Obama said it was “preferable” for the Gaza crisis to be resolved without a “ramping up” of Israeli military activity.
0853h: Reports circulate that Jewish settlers set fire to the entrance of a mosque in the West Bank in a suspected ‘price-tag’ attack.
0728h: IDF: Overnight “targeted approx. 80 terror sites” in Gaza, including underground rocket launching sites, tunnels, and training bases.
0545h: AJE: Israel has hit the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and the stage at the Palestine Football stadium.
0230h: Tweet by @JonDonnison: Really heavy shelling now in #Gaza. Sounds distant but still be felt shaking ground underneath us.
2313h: Analysts in Israel say the Jewish state’s leadership appears satisfied with the success of Operation Pillar of Defence, and that it could be ready for a ceasefire.
“Over the weekend the Israeli army looked at the first four days of the operation and was satisfied with the results,” military analyst Amir Rapaport wrote in Maariv newspaper.
“After the army managed to stun Hamas with the opening move of assassinating the head of the organisation’s military branch, Ahmad Jaabari, efforts over the weekend focused on preserving the deterrence created by the assassination.
“The ball has been in the political echelon’s court since yesterday, and it will decide between moving ahead with the ceasefire talks and the option of a ground operation,” he wrote on Sunday.
According to the military correspondent at Yediot Aharonot newspaper, nobody within the group leading the operation is “pushing or eager for” a ground incursion.
“But if Hamas manages to inflict dramatic harm to Israel in order to get a ‘victory picture,’ there is a viable concern that the cabinet ministers won’t withstand the temptation to ‘rectify’ the impression this picture would leave on the Israeli voter,” wrote Alex Fishman. (Source: AFP)
2225h: From our Gaza correspondent: “Israeli navy still targeting Gaza, firing three shots at a time, often every 5 mins and drones hovering the skies above me.”
2200h:Morocco announced on Sunday it will set up a field hospital in the Gaza Strip to help Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes, which the king described as “military aggression” in a statement.
Mohammed VI “ordered the immediate setting up of a Moroccan field hospital in the Gaza Strip,” which will include medical staff from “the armed forces as well as Moroccan civilian doctors and paramedics,” the statement from the royal palace said.
2104h: Two explosions are reported in Eilat, situated on the border of both Egypt and Jordan, according to YNET.
2040h: Israeli air strikes on Sunday killed 23 Palestinians in the bloodiest day so far of its massive air campaign on the Gaza Strip, as diplomatic efforts to broker a truce intensified.
2007h: Al Jazeera reports that Hamas spokesman Razi confirmed Israel and Hamas have agreed on 90% of the ceasefire agreement in Egypt.
1955h: Myriam Francois-Cerrah writes in a new op-ed for Your Middle East about ‘The collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population’.
“Israel’s far-right Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman has stated that toppling Hamas is not on the agenda. Of course not, Hamas is much too convenient a bogeyman, which offers significant cover for Israel’s disregard for Human Rights, alongside guaranteed sympathy from western governments which accept the narrative that Israel is merely engaged in its own version of the ‘war on terror’”
1936h: Destruction after the Israeli air force targeted the house of the leader of Hamas, Abu Hassan Salah, in Jabalia camp on Saturday.
1905h: Kids playing football near the main police station in Gaza City, which is expected to be targeted in the near future.
1856h: Hamas: Sunday’s meeting in Cairo with an Israeli envoy and Egyptian mediators failed.
1842h: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday: “I call on the Palestinian people to intensify their peaceful demonstrations in the streets against the Israeli aggression in Gaza.”
1807h: Your Middle East’s Gaza correspondent went to visit the Abu Sefan family who lost their children in an air strike. Get the full story here.
A family member shows Your Middle East where the children had been
sleeping just a few hours before they were killed.
1733h: Our Gaza correspondent says that “things look a lot calmer now”.
1710h: Video of the missile that was just intercepted in Tel Aviv can be seen here.
1700h: Your Middle East’s correspondent in Tel Aviv writes a new report about fears among Israeli women.
“I have no idea what might happen, but I hope this will be over soon. I am watching the news and see what is happening in Gaza and feel sick about all the innocent lives being taken. I want this war to be over and I don’t agree that this was the best way of dealing with rocket fire, even though I am terrified when the sirens go off so continuously,” says Keren Simons, a British-Israeli who currently lives in Be’er Sheva.
1657h: IDF confirms that a missile was fired into Tel Aviv and intercepted by Iron Dome.
1644h: Alarm goes off in Tel Aviv. Awaiting further reports.
1549h: Al Qassam Brigades to IDF on Twitter: “Massacre against Ad-Dalo family will not go unpunished”.
1548h: YNET: Over 100 rockets have been fired towards the south of Israel since midnight.
1525h: The watchdog Reporters without Borders has released a statement regarding the attack against a media building in Gaza:
“Reporters without Borders condemn Israeli air strikes targeting news organizations in Gaza City today and call for an immediate end to such attacks. At least eight journalists were reportedly injured and several local and international media were prevented from operating.
“These attacks constitute obstruction of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We remind the Israeli authorities that, under humanitarian law, the news media enjoy the same protection as civilians and cannot be regarded as military targets.
“Even if the targeted media support Hamas, this does not in any way legitimize the attacks. We call for a transparent investigation into the circumstances of these air strikes. Attacks on civilian targets are war crimes and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions. Those responsible must be identified.”
At around 2 a.m. today, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at the Al-Shawa Wa Hassri Tower, a building in the Gaza City neighborhood of Rimal that houses local and international media organizations. Around 15 reporters and photographers wearing vests with the word “TV Press” were on the building’s roof at the time, covering the Israeli air strikes.
Five missiles destroyed the 11th-floor offices used by Al-Quds TV. The station said six journalists were injured, four of them Al-Quds employees”.
1455h: At least seven members of the same family, including four children, were among nine people killed when an Israeli missile struck a family home in Gaza City, the health ministry said.
Among the dead were a man, two women and four children, all of whom were from the al-Dallu family, said spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
A 70-year-old woman, also believed to be from the same family, and a 22-year-old man were also killed, he said.
At least 20 people were injured in the strike, which flattened the three-storey building in Gaza City’s Nasser neighbourhood. (AFP)
1452h: Haaretz reports that Israel has sent an envoy to Cairo for cease-fire talks, but meanwhile, according to AP; Israel has denied dispatching an envoy.
1448h: The Israeli government has admitted it has become the victim of a mass cyber-warfare campaign with millions of attempts to hack state websites since the start of its Gaza offensive, says AFP. Read the full story here.
1323h: Image taken yesterday by our Gaza correspondent, showing five fighters of Al Qassam Brigades who were killed in an Israeli strike. People have gathered in the mosque of Magazi.
1300h: IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz instructed forces to “intensify attacks on terror targets in Gaza”.
1248h: Iran’s deputy foreign minister: We will witness a serious evolution from the Gazan jihadi groups in hours.
1238h: BBC’s Gaza and West Bank journalist Don Jonnison tweeted: Rocket just fired now from #Gaza
1236h: Sirens sounded across Tel Aviv for a fourth straight day on Sunday, AFP correspondents said, as Israeli police confirmed two rockets had been intercepted over the city by the Iron Dome defence system.
“Two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system,” police spokesman Luba Samri told AFP shortly after the sirens sent residents running for cover across the commercial metropolis and in nearby Bnei Brak and Ramat HaSharon.
The Israeli army confirmed the interception, but said that only one rocket had been fired from Gaza.
The sirens sparked panic, bringing traffic to an abrupt halt as pedestrians and drivers ran to find shelter, an AFP correspondent said.
1213h: Speculations circulate in Israel that Operation Pillar of Defense may push back the national Knesset elections, set for January 22, 2013.
1130h: Jane Kinninmont, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, just tweeted: “European diplomat tells me Gaza violence is likely to increase the number of EU countries willing to support the Palestinian UN bid”.
1105h: A ground invasion of the Gaza Strip would lose Israel much international sympathy and support, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Sunday.
Hague told Sky News television it was much more difficult to limit civilian casualties in a ground assault and it would threaten to prolong the conflict.
“A ground invasion of Gaza would lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy that they have in this situation,” Hague said.
1104h: IDF: International journalists/correspondents in Gaza “stay clear of Hamas’ bases and facilities”.
1042h: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel is ready to “significantly expand” its operation against militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as it entered its fifth day.
“We are extracting a heavy price from Hamas and the terror organisations,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “The army is prepared to significantly expand the operation.”
1021h: Rocket hits house in Israeli town Ashkelon, injuries and damage reported.
0924h: On Twitter: @ibnezra Air raid siren in Ashkelon in the last five minutes. Traffic stopped. People taking cover.
Photo by @ibnezra
0920h: Two rockets fired into Tel Aviv, both intercepted by the new 5th Iron Dome missile defence system. None injured.
0843h: Israel’s Iron Dome defence sucessfully intercepted two rockets fired on Tel Aviv. No damages or casualties reported.
0707h: There are reports on Twitter that some 500 Egyptians have left Cairo in 8 buses bound for Gaza via Sinai to support the Palestinians.
0641h: IDF says that 490 rockets has landed in Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense began. There have been no rocket attacks on Israel since midnight. An IDF Spokesman said that IAF attacked 70 targets in Gaza overnight, surpassing more than a 1,000 targets since the operation started.
0334h: More reports circulate regarding the so called hacker Anonymous. Some sources have claimed that the hacker managed to shut down the website of Bank of Jerusalem on Saturday. For the full story, click here.
0215h: “At least six journalists were wounded, with minor and moderate injuries, when Israeli warplanes hit the al-Quds TV office in the Showa and Housari building in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City,”Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
0021h: @jmaisin tweeted: Three journalists are injured in the strike on the Shawa and Husari media tower, reports Maan Arabic’s @kasakrah. #Gaza
0008h: Tweet by @JonDonnison: Sounds like Israel may be firing from sea. UNCONFIRMED #Gaza
0001h: Israeli artillery fired into Syria after gunfire from Syria hit an army vehicle but caused no injuries, the Israeli military said, reports AFP.
2312h: “The Israelis will commit a stupid mistake if they decide to launch a ground operation against Gaza,” Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah says at a Shi’ite religious ceremony in Beirut, reports Haaretz.
2212h: Destruction has become visible after the Israeli air force targeted the house of the Hamas
leader, Abu Hassan Salah, at the Jabalia camp early Saturday morning.
2210h: @DimiReider tweets: “IDF confirms: No incoming rocket fire in several hours.”
2154h: Prominent Twitter users such as @Palestinianism and @AliAbunimah are skeptical of Iron Dome’s ability to withstand missiles from Gaza. @Palestinianism tweeted: “#QassamConference Iron dome is no longer useful against the rockets of the Palestinian Resistance”
2115h: Morsi, Egypt’s president, has said that his government is in touch with Israelis and Palestinians about a possible truce that could come “soon,” says AJE.
2057h: Israeli State Department Officials denies that an Israeli representative was sent to Cairo to sign a ceasefire agreement.
2019h: Death toll in Gaza rises to 47 after a series of IAF airstrikes late Saturday, reports the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency
2000h: Israeli Channel 2 reports that Palestinian sources claim that an Israeli mediator is on his way to Egypt to sign a cease-fire agreement.
1948h: Arab foreign ministers roundly denounced Israel’s campaign in Gaza in an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday and demanded a review of what they called their futile diplomacy towards the Jewish state. Member states should “reconsider all past Arab initiatives on the peace process and review their stance on the process as a whole,” said Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.
1920h: One of our Israel correspondents reports that hundreds protest in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square against the operation in Gaza.
1917h A video said to show an Israeli strike on Zeitoun in Southern Gaza. See here
1851h: Your Middle East’s Gaza correspondent have met Palestinians in the Strip who question whether the timing of the Israeli attack is really unrelated to the planned general elections in the country on January 22. Read our full story here.
“After a series of economical and social failures during his time as the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu seems to be on a desperate search for victory,” said Dr. Hanny Al Basoos, a professor at the Islamic University Gaza and political analyst specialized in Israeli politics.”
1831h: New video released showing a missile attack on Ashdod in Israel. See here.
1747h: The Arab League has decided to convene an emergency meeting in Cairo to deal with the escalating aggression between Israel and Gaza.
1746h: Channel 2: Examining the political consequences of Operation Pillar of Defense, wide consensus in favor of the resort to force.
1734h: A protest against the war is scheduled in Tel Aviv for tonight. In half an hour the demonstration is set to take place.
1637h: A newly installed battery of Israel’s Iron Dome defence system successfully intercepted a Gaza rocket aimed at Tel Aviv. Full story here.
1634h: The Times of Israel reports that Hamas rejects Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
1622h: We have received images from a group of students in Tel Aviv, showing how they seek cover in an underground bomb shelter room (see below). One student wrote down his thoughts;
“Air raid sirens went off on Thursday evening and yesterday; we seek cover in the shelter rooms that can – or should – be found under every house. The mayor has opened the public bunkers, however, many people still refuse to succumb to the terror and instead insist to move on with their lives as usual. They sit on cafés and whatnot,” writes the student.
“Politicians urge the people, through the news broadcasts, to remain cautious, careful and critical of any suspicious individuals or activity. Folks are afraid of more missiles, but also concerned about the possible influx of suicide bombers, partly because they still have the second intifada in fresh memory.”
This picture is from the 15th when the alarm went off in Tel Aviv.
This student waits while the sirens go out on the 16th.
But in northern Israel, life has continued along somewhat normal routines, although we are told that streets have been more or less empty in some areas.
1604h: A Palestinian journalist, @Rushdibbc, based in Gaza just tweeted: Hamas announces Government institutions will open their doors as usual on Sunday, requests all employees to return to work.
1455h: Israeli radio reports that the “Iron Dome”, Israel’s anti-missile battery, intercepted a rocket heading towards Tel Aviv, says AJE.
1432h: Mass rally beginning in the predominantly Arab town of Nazareth against Israel’s possible ground incursion into Gaza.
1425h: Palestine Al-Youm reports that Hamas would stop firing rockets into Israel if blockade is lifted.
1409h: Maan: Muhammad Yasin dies of wounds sustained Saturday, raising the death toll in Gaza to 40 since Wednesday.
1341h: BBC reports heavy IDF troop buildup near Gaza border.
1329h: Hamas: “Suicide bombers are standing by for the ground invasion. Once the first tank enters Gaza, units will be activated.”
1328h: Iran’s Majlis Defense Committee is scheduled to convene a meeting to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli “aggression” against the besieged Gaza Strip, reports Press TV.
1318h: AJE: 16,000 out of Israel’s 75,000 reservists made available have been called up.
1244h: Channel 2: Islamic Jihad obtained the names, places of work, cell phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of 5,000 IDF soldiers.
1236h: Barzilai Medical Center: treating 56 for injuries. 13 are suffering from shock, 42 being treated for contusions.
1107h: Iran says Muslim world must hit back at Israel for Gaza: “Putting an end to the Zionist (Israeli) regime’s crimes is only possible through a united, revolutionary retaliation by the Muslim world,” Iran’s Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency. Full article here.
Protest in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza in Tehran on November 16.
1058h: IDF says IAF strikes kill 11 Hamas “terrorists” in the past 12 hours.
1014h: Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, speaking from Gaza, urged “an end to the assault and aggression” against the Palestinian territory, reports AJE.
0935h: Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem crossed into Gaza for a solidarity visit, a Hamas spokesman said, as Israeli air strikes continue, reports AFP.
0925h: According to Reuters Israeli soldiers prepare tanks near the border with Gaza, says AJE.
0852h: New video has been posted by Al Qassam Brigades: “From the Palestinian people to the Zionists. We missed suicide bombing attacks, wait for us soon, in bus stations and in coffee places. From Izz- al Din Al Qassam to the Zionists, don’t sleep, because we might get to you while you sleep. From Al Qassam Brigades to Zionist soldiers, come forward, brave soldier, in order for you to die”
See video here (in Hebrew)
0837h: Channel 2: 5th Iron Dome to be placed in Tel Aviv, Israel.
(Image shows a different Iron Dome)
0828h: IDF: Since last night, IDF has struck over 200 targets, including 120 rocket launchers and at least 20 smuggling tunnels in Rafah.
0819h: Hamas: Three military leaders killed this morning. 32 killed and 300 injured in Gaza since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense.
0718h: Photo of a Palestinian Hamas security member inspecting the destroyed office building of Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya in Gaza City.
0713h: Map showing Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket fire.
0709h: IAF strikes house of A. Randouj, commander of Hamas in Northern Gaza and the deputy of Ahmed Jabari (killed Wednesday).
0705h: IDF: Mortar fired from Gaza damaged electricity cable in southern Israel. As a result, power is out in areas of northern Gaza.
0650h: Rocket fire into Israel continued overnight, but there were no reports of injury or damage.
0648h: Channel 2: Two Hamas commanders assassinated in IAF strikes. 19 IAF strikes in the last hour.
0643h: Channel 10: 20,000 IDF reservists have been called up, less than 12 hours after the cabinet approved the increase to 75,000.
0642h: Reports circulale around the extent of Israel’s latest wave of attacks; IAF strikes 186 Gazan targets overnight, 830 targets since start of Operation Pillar of Defense. At the same time, rocket fire from Gaza slows down.
0631h: Concerns among tweeters, such as this question from @WyreDavies: By hitting #Hamas PM’s office, Interior Min etc. #Israel is trying to undermine Hamas’ authority in #Gaza but when it’s gone, who steps in?
0617h: “Over the past six hours, the IDF targeted 85 more terror sites,” the IDFs official Twitter account said.
0614h: Hamas has released a statement: “The cabinet headquarters was targeted with four strikes and the government stresses that it remains committed to its positions and its stand alongside the people.”
0319h: Tweeted by@imNadZ: I knew it!! The parliament building I’m central #Gaza has been targeted
0116h: Our contributor in Gaza says that, despite explosions here and there, it’s more quiet tonight than it was yesterday, when she couldn’t sleep at all.
0103h: Photo of two men returning to see the destroyed neighbourhood they called home just a few days ago. This shot was taken on Thursday morning in southern Tal Al-Howa in Gaza City.
0041h: In a new op-ed for Your Middle East, Dr. Joshua Gleis predicts that this might very well be Israel’s game changing war:
“The firing of rockets towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem demonstrated a harsh new reality for the Jewish state: in the case of war, there is no longer a part of Israel that is safe from attack. With Israel’s population and economy centered around the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, such rocket attacks on the Israeli heartland can cripple the country.”
2341h: “Hamas’ firing into the Jerusalem region, which had not been hit by a rocket since 1970, is an ominous sign of things to come,” writes Dr. Joshua Gleis in a new op-ed published on Your Middle East. It can be accessed here.
2328h: Video of “Red Alarm” in Sderot, people running for shelter. We get reports from Israel that people are glued to the TV expecting a ground invasion tonight.
2154h: Image of a young boy in Gaza surrounded by the remnants of air raids. The shot was taken by our correspondent earlier today.
2133h: Another Twitter debate: Leftist Activist Kamal Khalil tweets “Yes we are against the resistance and the aggression but we are also against the settlement of Palestinians in Sinai.”
Palestinian poet and author Mourid Barghouti replies, “There are no limits in describing how low people who promote this idea are. What type of shoes live inside your skulls?”
2118h: Tweeted by @emilie_baujard: Drones over #gaza city now
2117h: IDF sources: Khaled Shaer, a senior member of Hamas antitank unit, was killed in an IAF in Gaza. NOTE: Unconfirmed
2110h: Military sources have confirmed that Hamas interior ministry in the Gaza Strip was attacked.
2050h: According to Israeli Channel 10 polls show 91% of Israelis are supporting Operation Pillar of Defense, whilst 76% believe it should continue. Moreover 22% state that they believe Israel must work toward defusing the situation and 41% state they believe Netanyahu is “the man for the job,” reports Times of Israel.
2035h: US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed their shared concern that renewed violence would damage the peace process, according to AFP.
2012h: Our correspondents in Gaza and Israel, Rana E. Manna and Tania de Ildefonso Ocampos, have talked to people on both sides to get a sense of the mood in the streets. The story can be accessed here.
2000h: Political sources said ministers were asked to approve the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists, in what could be viewed as a preparation for a possible ground operation, reports Reuters and Times of Israel.
1923h: According to Haaretz rockets were recently fired from direction of Egypt towards Eshkol Regional Council in Israel.
1915h: Palestinian sources in Gaza report that Ahmed Abu Jalal, a senior commander in #Hamas‘ military wing, was killed in an Air Force strike east of the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Strip. We have also seen announcements that Abu Jalal’s two brothers and another person were killed. NOTE: Unconfirmed
1850h: Three video clips from Israel:
1844h: Video clip from Jerusalem showing how air raid sirens go off.
1835h: Reports circulate that Israel has sealed off main roads around Gaza.
1818h: Tweet by @sheikhNB “Al Jazeera Arabic now: 3 militants killed, others wounded in airstrike on Meghazi refugee camp, #Gaza. Total of 27 Palestinians now killed” NOTE: These reports are unconfirmed.
1751h: Egyptian news portal Shorouknews reports that two Israeli soldiers have been captivated in Gaza, and also claims that Israel admits losing a fighter jet. NOTE: These reports are unconfirmed.
1736h: “Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar” were the words cried out loud through different mosques’ microphones announcing Qassam brigades success in bringing down an Israeli fighter jet. If that de facto happened is yet to be confirmed. See video here.
1713h: Abu Mujahid, spokesman for the Salah al-Din Brigades, claimed during an interview with ONtv that the Qassam brigades succeeded in striking the Israeli Knesset with a missile. He also asserted that they will continue firing missiles towards Tel Aviv, and that “there are many surprises coming”.
Mujahid said he is “sure that Palestinian fighters will never allow the Israeli enemy to keep on stepping over red lines.”
1705h: AJE: Abbas says “We should exert maximum effort for national unity and reconciliation.”
1658h: BBC: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is giving a televised speech from Ramallah urging Palestinians to unite.
1653h: Tweet by @LaurenBohn – IDF says they can’t confirm or deny their sending a text msg to Gazans reading “Stay away from Hamas, the second phase is coming.” #Israel
1630h: Former Secretary-General of the Arab League tweeted the following; “I strongly oppose the Israeli aggression and I demand the Arab League to follow suitable procedures to stop it.”
His tweet received a critical reply from Egyptian actor Ahmed Eid, “Mr Amr Moussa is asking the Arab League to react? Well have you been working as a library Secretary-General in the year 2008 while Gaza was in war?”
1557h: According to Israeli sources, rocket lands in an open area in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem no casualties reported. This is the first time a rocket has been fired at Jerusalem since 1970.
1553h: Tweet by @ewither – Israeli editor I work with just got called up, he’s going south…. ground invasion looking more and more likely #Israel #Gaza.
1544h: Photos from the propaganda war:
From the Facebook page ”We are all Khaled Said”
From the IDF.
1538h: Reuters: Iraqi envoy to Arab League says he will not propose any specific Arab League actions against Israel over Gaza
1532h: BBC: Israeli Army Radio says the rocket aimed at Jerusalem fell on open ground. No-one was hurt and no damage caused.
1528h: BBC: Hamas’s military wing says its target in Jerusalem was the Israeli Knesset.
1522h: The Civil affairs department of the Ministry of Interior was bombed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City early Friday morning. Wounded Palestinians from residential buildings in the surrounding Tel al-Hawa neighborhood were transferred by ambulances. According to Ministry officials, with the building containing over 70 years of files of civil registry, more than 90 percent of records and papers are still accessible electronically.
1520h: Just tweeted by @DanWilliams – “Hamas said it fired a ‘locally made Qassam M-75″ at Jerusalem – a rocket not heard of previously. Guess the number refers to its km range.'”
1512h: Avital Leibovich, IDF spokesperson tweets “Confirmed: a rocket was fired a few minutes ago from #Gaza to an area outside Jerusalem. #IsraelUnderFire”
1510h: @MaathMusleh tweets “#BREAKING: reports that all diplomats in #Jerusalem were taken to shelters #Israel #Gaza”
1504h: According to @DanielSeidermann, two missile landings reportedly located in Etzion bloc settlement in the West Bank.
1503h: Rocket fell in Gilo settlement in Jerusalem, others claim 3 rockets been heard in the area. All reports still unconfirmed.
1501h: Hamas claims to have fired rocket at Jerusalem, which is confirmed by eyewitnesses stating that sirens have gone off. @DanWilliams tweets it would be the first time this happens to Jerusalem since 1967 war. However, no word of casualties.
1451h: Hamas fired an improved Qassam missile towards Jerusalem, probably Northern Jerusalem, reports Channel 2.
1449h: Air raid sirens have been sounded in the Jerusalem area, reports YNET.
1445h: BBC journalist Jihad Misharawi’s 11 month baby was killed in an air strike. His sister in law was also killed while his brother was wounded.
1436h: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan decried Israeli’s air strikes on Gaza on Friday as a pre-election stunt and said he would discuss the crisis with Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo this weekend, Reuters reports.
1432h: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi denounces Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip as “a blatant aggression against humanity” and said Cairo “would not leave Gaza on its own”, the state news agency MENA reports.
1428h: Home Front Command chief Major-General Eyal Eizenberg has instructed local authorities in southern and central Israel to prepare for up to seven weeks of fighting as part of the escalation in Gaza, according to YNET, an Israeli news site.
1421h: According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, there are now 24 Pelstinians killed and 250 wounded in the past three days of fighting. Three year old Mohammed Iyad Saadallah was among those killed in the Israeli air raids, medical sources say.
1402h: Somewhat surreal video of children playing football while explosions are heard in the background, recorded on Nov. 15th. See clip here.
1351h: A total of 23 Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday, tweets BBC’s correspondent in Gaza and the West Bank.
1350h: Three IDF soldiers reportedly injured by rockets fired from Gaza a short while ago.
1343h: Canadian embassy informs its citizens in Gaza that an emergency evacuation might take place.
1312h: IDF informs: The Paratrooper and Givati Infantry brigades have completed the final prepartions for a potential ground operation. The forces are on standby.
Friday morning: Showing solidarity with the Palestinians, Dr. Hesham Kandil visits the besieged Gaza Strip, Friday morning to converse with leaders of the Islamist Hamas movement while exploring the possibility of a brief ceasefire.