LIVE BLOG DAY 7: Operation Pillar Of Defense [UPDATED 11:33PM IL]

(Tuesday, November 20th, 2012)

UPDATE 11:33PM IL: The rockets fired towards Ofakim has landed in an open area.

UPDATE 11:28PM IL: Sirens sounding in Tifrach and Ofakim.

UPDATE 11:18PM IL: Jordan’s King Abdullah warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of ground operation.

UPDATE 10:52PM IL: Since Wednesday, more than 1,300 rockets have been fired from Gaza, according to the IDF.

760 landed in Israel and 390 were intercepted by the Iron Dome. The remainder did not make it out of Gaza. 14 rockets exploded in residential areas on Tuesday, marking a record number since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

UPDATE 10:46PM IL: According to the IDF, more than 1,500 terror targets in the Gaza Strip have been struck since Operation Pillar of Defense began one week ago. More than 130 were bombed on Tuesday.

UPDATE 10:35PM IL: A Hamas official said on Tuesday that Egyptian efforts to broker a truce with Israel had been held up because the Israeli government had yet to respond to proposals, indicating there would be no ceasefire until Wednesday at the earliest.

“The Israeli side has not responded yet, so we will not hold a (news) conference this evening and must wait until tomorrow,” Ezzat al-Rishq, a senior Hamas leader, told Reuters. “The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond,” he added in a short telephone interview.

UPDATE: 10:20PM IL: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Israel and will join efforts to advance a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

UPDATE: 9:45PM IL: IDF Homefront Command announces no changes in instructions as they stand today, adding all schools in the 40km line from Gaza to remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday, 7 Kislev5773.

UPDATE: 9:40PM IL: The IDF spokesman announces that in the past 30 minutes 13 terror targets in Gaza were targeted, primarily underground rocket launchers.

UPDATE: 9:14PM IL: Hundreds of Beersheva residents are protesting, calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to accept any US pressured ceasefire and to “finish the job” and bring Hamas to its knees to bring a halt to the rocket fire once and for all.

UPDATE: 8:36PM IL: Sirens in Ashkelon Coast area a short time ago.

UPDATE: 8:32PM IL: Sirens in the S’dot Negev and Shar HaNegev Regional councils.

UPDATE: 8:29PM IL: There may be a second victim in the Hussan Bypass Road shooting attack but this is yet unconfirmed. The women’s condition appears very serious as she was hit twice, in the chest and her neck.

UPDATE: 8:25PM IL: SHOOTING ATTACK NEAR BETAR ILLIT: A woman was seriously wounded by gunfire a short time ago near Betar Illit in Gush Etzion, Ichud Hatzalah reports. She was shot in the upper torso in an apparent terror attack.

The incident occurred on the Hussan Bypass Road.

UPDATE: 8:20PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon, Yad Mordechai and other areas.

UPDATE: 8:13PM IL: Additional rocket fire to Netivot and Shar HaNegev Council a few minutes ago.

UPDATE: 8:09PM IL: MDA spokesman Zaki Heller reports 112 victims of rocket attacks were treated by MDA during the today until this time.

This includes one in serious condition, two light from shrapnel and 27 light with various bruises and soft tissue injuries, primarily from running for cover. 82 victims treated for hysteria.

UPDATE: 8:05PM IL: Some rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome while others landed. There are no reports of injuries at this time.

UPDATE: 8:02PM IL: Baruch Dayan Emmes: The IDF soldier killed by rocket fire in the Eshkol Regional Council earlier today was Corporal Yosef Fartuch HY”D,18 from Emanuel.

UPDATE: 8:00PM IL: Sirens in Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE: 7:59PM IL: Multiple sirens in Ashdod/ many Iron Dome launches. Awaiting information regarding impact of rockets and number of intercepts.

UPDATE: 7:57PM IL: Several rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 7:56PM IL: Sirens in Ashkelon and Ashdod.

UPDATE: 7:55PM IL: Sirens in Be’er Tuvia Regional Council.

UPDATE: 7:52PM IL: Sirens in Netivot, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi and S’dot Negev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 7:50PM IL: It is now permitted to report the Israeli killed by rocket fire in the Eshkol Regional Council area was an IDF soldier.

UPDATE: 7:33PM IL: Channel 10 TV News: Israeli sources signal Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is agreeing to a ceasefire under “enormous” pressure from the White House.

The formula will compel a ceasefire tonight, and only in the morning will the sides begin speaking towards reaching understanding.

UPDATE: 7:30PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts one rocket heading for Beersheva. The second landed in an open area.

UPDATE: 7:29PM IL: Sirens in Gadera, Gan Yavne and Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE: 7:27PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Council communities and Be’er Tuvia.

UPDATE: 7:20PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE: 7:19PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim.

YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for photos of various rocket attacks in Israel.

UPDATE: 7:18PM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 7:13PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Council/ Powerful explosions heard from within Gaza.

UPDATE: 6:50PM IL: Ten people treated for hysteria following rocket attack in Rishon L’Tzion.

UPDATE: 6:37PM IL: Channel 2 stresses there are no official statements from Israel regarding a ceasefire. Credible unofficial sources quoted by Channel 2 state at 21:00, an announcement will be made in Cairo announcing a ceasefire beginning at midnight, Monday – Tuesday.

The United States, European Union and Egypt will ensure the ceasefire is adhered to.

Israel will:
1. Halt aerial strikes
2. Halt targeted surgical strikes
3. Stop interfering with Gaza fisherman
4. Reach an understanding regarding passages
5. Permit Egypt and Hamas reach understanding regarding Rafiach crossing.

Hamas will:
1. Halt attacks against Israeli civilians
2. Halt attacks against IDF personnel

UPDATE: 6:31PM IL: Izzadin el-Kassam, the military wing of Hamas boasts responsibility for the rocket attack into Rishon L’Tzion.

UPDATE: 6:29PM IL: Zaka responder Chaim Singer of Rishon L’Tzion reports there are flames visible on the upper floors of the building hit by a rocket in Rishon. He says “simply a miracle, nothing less”

Firefighters extinguishing the blaze.

UPDATE: 6:27PM IL: Rocks hurled at soldiers during a swearing-in ceremony at an Akko museum. No injuries reported. Police are looking for the assailants

UPDATE: 6:17PM IL: Magen David Adom Chief Eli Bin reports a six-story building was struck in Rishon L’Tzion in the rocket attack a short time ago. One female is being treated for a light injury.

EMS and IDF Homefront Command personnel are continuing to comb the building and area in search for additional victims.

UPDATE: 6:13PM IL: MDA, Ichud Hatzalah and other emergency responders heading to a street in Rishon L’Tzion following reports that a rocket struck an apartment building.

UPDATE: 6:10PM IL: Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon tells Channel 2 TV News that despite the flurry of reports of an imminent ceasefire, “it’s not over yet and until Israel receives the necessary assurances that Hamas will halt rocket fire, there will be no ceasefire.”

UPDATE: 6:07PM IL: Channel 2 reports Iron domes intercepted rocket heading to Rishon L’Tzion.

UPDATE: 6:05PM IL: A rocket lands near Tzeilim. Four victims reported, one very serious, one moderate and the others less serious.

UPDATE: 6:01PM IL: Sirens sounding in Rishon L’Tzion and other areas.

UPDATE 5:52PM IL: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says Israel must exercise maximum restraint and strongly cautions against ground invasion of Gaza.

UPDATE 5:47PM IL: Rocket hits car in Ashkelon. One person injured moderate to serious condition.

UPDATE 5:44PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod.

UPDATE 5:29PM IL: Haaretz quotes “Senior Israeli officials”: Cease-fire with Hamas to go into effect within hours.

UPDATE 5:24PM IL: Hamas sources in Cairo say a ceasefire will be announced later tonight, Al Jazeera is reporting.

UPDATE 5:23PM IL: At least 2 rockets heading towards Ashdod intercepted by Iron Dome.

UPDATE 5:21PM IL: Sirens sounding now in Ashkelon.

UPDATE 5:12PM IL: Sirens in Ashdod and surrounding areas now.

UPDATE 5:11PM IL: Lebanese television network “Al – Miadin” quoted sources in the Gaza Strip which claimed that the declaration of the cease-fire will be today at 9:00PM IL. This has not been reported anywhere else, or confirmed by the IDF.

UPDATE 5:03PM IL: Rockets landed in open areas in Eshkol regional Council.

UPDATE 4:40PM IL: Sirens now sounding in Nirim and Ayin Hashlosha (both in the Western Negev).

UPDATE 4:36PM IL: Sirens now in Chatzeirim.

UPDATE 4:34PM IL: Sirens sounding in Bnei Shimon now.

UPDATE 4:29PM IL: IDF spokesman just announced that the IAF has bombed two vehicles carrying weapons in Gaza City. There are reports of secondary explosions, signaling to explosives being transported in the vehicles. According to the Arab media reports, six people were killed in the attack.

UPDATE 4:26PM IL: IAF attack in Zeitun in Gaza at least 2 reported killed.

UPDATE 4:25PM IL: Hamas executes several people in Gaza accused of collaborating with Israel, reports say.

UPDATE 4:24PM IL: IAF has just dropped leaflets in parts of Gaza urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately”.

“For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City centre,” leaflets dropped over Gaza City said.

UPDATE 4:17PM IL: UPDATE from Ashdod – 3 wounded light another 10 or so being treated for hysteria as rocket hits Kiosk.

UPDATE 4:11PM IL: Minor injuries reported in the building strike in Ashdod.

UPDATE 4:06PM IL: Reports of a rocket has struck a building in Ashdod. Further details to follow.

UPDATE 4:02PM IL: Al Jazeera reports that the IDF has just dropped leaflets in North Gaza warning citizens of a ground invasion. This has not been reported anywhere else, or confirmed by the IDF.

UPDATE: 3:57PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod/ Iron Dome appears to have successfully intercepted rockets.

UPDATE: 3:53PM IL: Channel 2 TV News Arab affairs correspondent Ehud Ya’ari reports IDF instructing Gaza residents in many northern and eastern areas to evacuate immediately.

Ya’ari explains this may signal imminent heavy aerial or artillery fire and/or a first sign that a ground invasion may take place despite ongoing ceasefire talks.

UPDATE: 3:50PM IL: Sirens sounding in Sderot.

UPDATE: 3:47PM IL: Once again, gunfire from Syria towards an IDF jeep in the northern Golan Heights. No injuries reported. The jeep was hit.

UPDATE: 3:37PM IL: Appears one of the many rockets fired at the Eshkol Regional Council communities made a direct hit to a home. There are no reports of injuries but there is damage being reported.

No one was home when the rocket hit.

Earlier today, one Israeli was killed in a mortar rocket attack in the same area.

UPDATE: 3:31PM IL: Sirens in the Eshkol Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 3:29PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts three incoming rockets in the Ashdod area/ Sirens in Gadera, Ashkelon, and the Yavne Regional Council

UPDATE: 3:28PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod/Yavne.

UPDATE: 3:25PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol region once again.

UPDATE: 3:19PM IL: Ichud Hatzalah reports five people with light shrapnel injuries and ten being treated for hysteria as a result of persistent rocket attacks in the Eshkol Regional Council area.

Sirens sounding in Eshkol Region once again.

UPDATE: 3:17PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Regional Council communities.

UPDATE: 3:13PM IL: Arab League foreign ministers arrive at Rafiach Crossing from Egypt and decry the Israeli attacks against Gaza. They are planning to enter Gaza for a solidarity visit with Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh.

UPDATE: 3:10PM IL: Channel 2 Arab affairs correspondent Ehud Ya’ari: IAF in the past hour bombed 120 Hamas military tunnels, not smuggling tunnels in the Rafiach area

UPDATE: 3:09PM IL: Reports of an attempted abduction of an IDF soldier in the Ramot area of the capital. Police have set up roadblocks as efforts continue to apprehend the vehicle.

Hamas official Mohammed Deif warns Israel that if ground forces enter Gaza, Hamas will abduct soldiers.

UPDATE: 3:01PM IL: UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon has arrived in Jerusalem/ Sirens in the Eshkol Council region.

UPDATE: 3:00PM IL: Two rockets landed in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries reported Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE: 2:57PM IL: Heavy IDF artillery fire into Gaza continues joined by tank fire at this time. Air force sorties over Gaza continue.

UPDATE: 2:53PM IL: PA TV showing rocket landed near the northern Jerusalem border, southern el-Bireh area, using smoke grenades or teargas to show the impact zone.

UPDATE: 2:52PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Region at this time/ Decision made to move the Barzilai Hospital emergency room to underground parking lot after Iron Dome fragments landed close to it earlier.

UPDATE: 2:50PM IL: Sirens sounded in Ashkelon minutes ago. Iron Dome intercept reported

UPDATE: 2:46PM IL: Two rockets were fired at Jerusalem landed in the southern Gush Etzion area, one directly adjacent to a Jewish community and the second in an area under PA control.

Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Council once again.

UPDATE: 2:44PM IL: Massive IDF artillery fire towards the area from which the last rockets were fired. Channel 2 TV News points out that area is uninhabited.

UPDATE: 2:39PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim and Eshkol Region communities.

UPDATE: 2:39PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Merchavim Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 2:34PM IL: Channel 2 TV News: Hamas claims responsibility for Jerusalem rocket attack, adding a M-75 rocket was fired, with a range of 75km (45 miles).

UPDATE: 2:33PM IL: Baruch Dayan Emmes: The victim of the Eshkol Regional Council attack in which 3 mortar shells landed in a kibbutz died of massive injuries.

UPDATE: 2:30PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Ashkelon area.

UPDATE: 2:19PM IL: Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby reports “no explosion in the city itself”.

Channel 2 News reports the blast was heard in some neighborhoods of the city, including Ramot.

Baruch Hashem the rocket landed in an open area but close enough to the city to trigger alarms. B’chasdei Hashem there are no reports of injuries.

Sirens sounded in Yerushalayim, Mevaseret Tzion, Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim and Betar Illit.

Two rockets landed somewhere in the Gush Etzion area.

UPDATE: 2:17PM IL: Sirens also sounded in Mevaseret Tzion.

UPDATE: 2:15PM IL: Sirens sounding in Yerushalayim.

UPDATE: 2:13PM IL: MDA responders treating a person in critical condition after being hit by a mortar shell. An IDF chopper standing by for evacuation to the trauma unit of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 2:11PM IL: At 14:30, Ban ki-Moon meets with Foreign Minister Lieberman; at 18:00 with Prime Minister Netanyahu and at 19:00, with President Peres.

UPDATE: 2:10PM IL: Mail delivery continues in Beersheva despite warfare. Postal delivery personnel equipped with flak vest and helmets.

UPDATE: 2:06PM IL: EMS responders are en route to the scene of a rocket attack in a Gaza border community. A home sustained a direct hit. Preliminary reports from the scene state one person is in critical condition.

UPDATE: 2:03PM IL: Home in Eshkol Regional Council hit. MDA responding. There appears to be injuries at that location.

UPDATE: 2:01PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol and Bnei Shimon Regional Council.

UPDATE: 2:01PM IL: No reports of injuries in the last wave of rocket attacks to southern area communities.

UPDATE: 1:58PM IL: IAF increasing attacks against terrorists in Gaza/Channel 2 News reports Hamas has rejected the draft ceasefire agreement presented in Cairo.

UPDATE: 1:56PM IL: The IDF officer wounded by shrapnel to his chest earlier today is reported in “stable” condition by Dr. Daniel Simon, chief of emergency medicine in Tel Hashomer Hospital.

According to the Walla News report, Dr. Simon states the officer will not require surgery unless his situation changes.

UPDATE: 1:53PM IL: No injuries in the factory struck by a rocket in the S’dot HaNegev region.

UPDATE: 1:52PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Regional Council communities.

UPDATE: 1:49PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim/ Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE: 1:47PM IL: Gaza medical officials report a critical shortage of equipment for ambulances.

UPDATE: 1:40PM IL: A rocket slammed into a factory in one of the Gaza border communities in the S’dot Negev Regional Council. EMS responding. It is unclear regarding injuries at that location at this time.

UPDATE: 1:36PM IL: Sirens in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.

UPDATE: 1:33PM IL: Two rockets land in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 1:33PM IL: Channel 2 News Video from 2006: Then PM Ariel Sharon, “Ashkelon or any other city in the area will not become a frontline in attacks.”

UPDATE: 1:30PM IL: Channel 2 TV News: 30 rockets fired at Beersheva today. 25 of them were intercepted by Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 1:28PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 1:26PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim and Merchavim Regional Council communities at this time.

UPDATE: 1:18PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

UPDATE: 1:13PM IL: One rocket fired at Netivot in the last attack landed in the city, in the yard of a home. B’chasdei Hashem there are no injuries being reported.

Ichud Hatzalah adds the residents of the home traveled to stay with family in Beit Shemesh on Monday so the home was not occupied at the time of the attack. The house was damaged in the attack.

UPDATE: 1:12PM IL: IDF Spokesman: 1,500 terror targets in Gaza hit to date in counterterrorism operation including many key terror facilities and commanders.

UPDATE: 1:11PM IL: Gaza reports 1 dead and at least 6 injured in an IAF attack against a building in Dir el-Balah.

UPDATE: 1:10PM IL: IDF spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai: The security of Israelis is more important than the security of Gazans. Aerial assaults will continue during the visit of UN head Ban ki-Moon.

UPDATE: 1:05PM IL: United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon will be meeting in Israel with PM Netanyahu, FM Lieberman and President Peres.

UPDATE: 1:03PM IL: Channel 1 TV News continues to report “intensive efforts” are ongoing to reach a ceasefire to avoid an IDF ground forces operation in Gaza.

UPDATE: 1:01PM IL: The rocket fired at Netivot was intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 12:58PM IL: A rocket fired at Sderot in the last attack landed in the yard of a private home. The windows of the home are blown out from what can be seen and the damage to the yard is visible. Baruch Hashem there is no reports of injuries or loss of life. Damage is said to be more significant inside the home.

UPDATE: 12:54PM IL: Sirens sounding in Netivot and S’dot Negev Regional Council communities.

UPDATE: 12:50PM IL: The following report on violence throughout Yehuda and Shomron this morning was provided by Hatzalah Yehuda/Shomron.

“Massive” rock-throwing attacks on the road between Tekoa in eastern Gush Etzion and Jerusalem.

Rock-throwing attacks near Jaba in the Etzion district. Damage to vehicle windows.

Arabs hurled rocks and burned tires on the road near Ofrah in Shomron.

About 500 Arab youths from Yata headed to Ziff Jct in the Southern Hebron Hills and began throwing rocks at Israeli motorists.

Rock attacks against IDF soldiers in the Halhoul area, north of Hebron.

Rock-throwing attacks in Hebron.

Tire burning in Shomron.

Security forces remain on high alert and report increasing Arab violence throughout Yehuda and Shomron since Operation Pillar of Defense began.

UPDATE: 12:45PM IL: Sirens sounding in Sderot and Shar HaNegev Regional Council communities.

UPDATE: 12:42PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Council communities.

UPDATE: 12:25PM IL: IDF Spokesman: 120 trucks carrying humanitarian aid intended for Gaza were to have crossed via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. After 24 trucks entered Gaza, the crossing was closed due to the heavy rocket fire into Israel.

UPDATE: 12:23PM IL: One rocket in last wave to Sderot landed in the yard of a residence, resulting in damage.

UPDATE: 12:14PM IL: No reports of injuries in the last wave of rocket attacks.

UPDATE: 12:10PM IL: Sirens in the Eshkol Regional Council and Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 12:08PM IL: Sirens sounding in Sderot at this time.

UPDATE: 12:07PM IL: There are no reports of injuries or damage in the last wave of rocket fire to numerous townships in southern Israel.

UPDATE: 12:05PM IL: Chaim Yellin, who heads the Eshkol Regional Council says “Over there, on the other side, they continue to shop for they rely upon the air force pilots, realizing they will not strike innocent civilians. We do not enjoy the same as Hamas strikes indiscriminately.”

UPDATE: 12:01PM IL: PM Netanyahu sends condolences to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on the death of his sister on Monday.

UPDATE: 12:00PM IL: It is now permitted to report the victim in the morning rocket attack in the Eshkol Regional Council area is an IDF reserve duty Tank Corps officer in his 40s, who is now reported in moderate condition in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

UPDATE: 11:56AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon, Zikim, Kiryat Malachi and the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.

UPDATE: 11:47AM IL: The victim listed in serious condition from the Eshkol Regional Council attack earlier today is now upgraded and listed as “moderate” in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Officials are reporting the attacker in the US Embassy in Tel Aviv is a “deranged individual” and the attack was not a terrorist incident.

UPDATE: 11:37AM IL: Authorities reporting the suspect in custody in the Tel Aviv embassy attack is a 41-year-old resident of Bat Yam. No more information available at this time. The suspect is described as a deranged male.

UPDATE: 11:29AM IL: Channel 2 reports one person is in custody in the attempted attack in the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv. The attacker was armed with a knife or an axe.

A security agent fired at the attacker. The agent was wounded in a leg. Ichud Hatzalah reports his condition as moderate. MDA is preparing the victim for transport to Ichilov Hospital.

Israel Police state it is too early to determine if the attack was criminal or terrorism in nature.

UPDATE: 11:20AM IL: Attempted Attack – US Embassy in Tel Aviv: There was some type of “security incident” at the diplomatic compound. A security agent’s weapon was discharged. Security officials are searching for a male described as “Mideast appearance”. There was something involving an axe, perhaps prompting the firing of a weapon. EMS personnel are treating one security official with a non life-threatening leg injury on the scene.

UPDATE: 11:14AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 11:11AM IL: Seriously wounded rocket attack victim flown from Beersheva to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv by IDF chopper.

UPDATE: 11:09AM IL: PRELIMINARY: Shooting incident with injuries on HaYarkon Street in Tel Aviv in the area of the US Embassy. More to follow.

UPDATE: 11:06AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 10:49AM IL: 100 residents of the Gaza border communities are being hosted in the Golan Heights for a day to get a break from the warfare.

UPDATE: 10:45AM IL: Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Shteinitz, Homefront Defense Minister Avi Dichter and other ministers are meeting with southern community leaders to begin sorting out the issues of making emergency payment to townships and to learn what assistance is needed as the warfare continues, and residents of up to the 7km mark from the Gaza border are prohibited from going to work.

UPDATE: 10:40AM IL: UN leader Ban ki-Moon gives legitimacy to Hamas in his media conference message from Cairo, calling upon Israel and Hamas equally – “both sides must stop the fire”, ignoring Hamas rocket fire into civilian population areas for the past 12 years.

UPDATE: 10:38AM IL: MK (Ichud HaLeumi) Uri Ariel tells Channel 2 News “The United States can compel a ceasefire in a moment by telling Egypt the billions in aid is dependent on getting Hamas to halt the rocket fire.”

UPDATE: 10:37AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts rockets heading to Kiryat Malachi, Ashdod and Ashkelon/ Damage reported in last rocket attack to Beersheva. B”H there is no reports of injuries.

UPDATE: 10:35AM IL: Iron Dome downs rocket heading to Ashdod.

UPDATE: 10:33AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod, Ashdod Regional Council, Ashkelon, Be’er Tuvia, Gan Yavne and Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE: 10:32AM IL: UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as Cairo press conference continues:

“I am here to offer my personnel assistance towards achieving a ceasefire…”

“I am here to offer my heartfelt sympathies for the civilians, the victims that are killed and wounded”.

UPDATE: 10:29AM IL: One rocket from last round directed against Beersheva landed in the city. Once again, B’chasdei Hashem no injuries are being reported.

UPDATE: 10:26AM IL: Meeting in Jerusalem this morning, President Shimon Peres tells German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Israel remains “determined to halt the rocket fire”.

Amid ceasefire negotiations in Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s sister Fatma died on Monday following a prolonged illness.

UPDATE: 10:24AM IL: Two rockets headed for Beersheva minutes ago were intercepted by the Iron Dome. City residents report a “boom” was heard in one of the neighborhoods. Police are heading to the area to check. There are no immediate reports of injuries.

A pro Israel rally scheduled outside the Israeli Embassy in Paris today.

UPDATE: 10:21AM IL: A number of rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome over Beersheva. There are no immediate reports of injuries. At this time it is unknown if rockets landed in open areas.

UPDATE: 10:18AM IL: The IDF closed the Kerem Shalom Crossing to Gaza in response to heavy rocket fire this morning.

UPDATE: 10:17AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva, Ofakim and Tifrach at this time

UPDATE: 10:13AM IL: Senior Hamas official Salah Badvil calls talk of a ceasefire “an Israeli trial balloon,” adding his terror army has the weaponry to counter an IDF ground forces invasion too.

UPDATE: 10:11AM IL: MK (Ichud HaLeumi) Uri Ariel tells Channel 2 News “we are to blame for the rockets”, explaining some of the rockets fired today are eight meters in length and had to be transported on a truck via Sinai to Gaza. “We were aware the rockets were being brought in to Gaza but remained silent and now pay the price”.

UPDATE: 10:04AM IL: The seriously injured victim is being transported to the trauma unit of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva by IDF helicopter.

UPDATE: 10:02AM IL: Another siren in the Eshkol Regional Council area/ The wounded victim from attack a few minutes ago is from Kibbutz Re’im. The victim was hit in the chest with shrapnel.

UPDATE: 10:00AM IL: Ichud Hatzalah reporting one person was seriously injured in a rocket attack in one of the Gaza border communities. The victim was transported to the trauma unit of Soroka Medical Center.

UPDATE: 9:57AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council areas and Ofakim.

UPDATE: 9:55AM IL: Rockets fired at the Eshkol Regional Council communities crashed down in open areas.

UPDATE: 9:52AM IL: Israel Police reporting 37 rockets fired into southern Israel this morning.

UPDATE: 9:52AM IL: Three rockets heading to Beersheva intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 9:49AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva and the Eshkol Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 9:46AM IL: Three rockets land in open areas in the last attack to the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 9:44AM IL: Over 100 Israeli “intellectuals” have signed a petition calling on the IDF to halt the military operation against Gaza.

Some southern residents responding to the report question where their petition was during the past 12 years of rocket fire.

UPDATE: 9:42AM IL: Channel 2 correspondent on military affairs Nir Bar-Shalom reports IAF striking near homes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders, not necessarily only senior commanders, sending a clear signal that ‘we can get you if we wish’.

UPDATE: 9:39AM IL: Channel 2 correspondent on military affairs Nir Bar-Shalom reports Hamas is behind the heavy rocket fire this morning, not Islamic Jihad or other terror organizations.

UPDATE: 9:37AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 9:33AM IL: One rocket impacts in parking area in the S’dot Negev Regional Council/ three rockets land without causing injuries in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

UPDATE: 9:28AM IL: UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon at a press conference in Cairo ahead of arrival in Jerusalem later today says “all sides must halt fire to avoid placing the entire region at risk”.

“There is no time to waste before halting the violence…” as well as calling for an end to the “Israeli occupation and implementation of the two-state solution”.

UPDATE: 9:25AM IL: No immediate reports of injuries in the Eshkol Regional Council following the last attack minutes ago.

UPDATE: 9:23AM IL: Rockets impacted in an open area in the S’dot HaNegev Council a few minutes ago.

UPDATE: 9:20AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council area at this time.

UPDATE: 9:19AM IL: Hillary Clinton is expected to arrive in Israel today.

UPDATE: 9:15AM IL: Channel 2 TV News reports one of the rockets fired at Beersheva this morning was a Fajar-5.

UPDATE: 9:14AM IL: Military correspondent Carmella Menasha explains the tens of thousands of soldiers waiting to enter Gaza are engaged in ongoing training maneuvers ahead of a possible major operation.

She explains that they were called up days in advance with the realization it is best to permit them time to be fully prepared and run simulation exercises before being sent into Gaza.

UPDATE: 9:12AM IL: 15-year-old Ziv Levy of Beersheva explains that after hearing the powerful explosion and windows being shattered, she realized their home was hit. She and others in the building ran to the stairwell and escaped the attack without physical injuries.

UPDATE: 9:10AM IL: Twenty katyusha rockets fired at Beersheva this morning.

UPDATE: 9:09AM IL: Channel 2: Forum of Nine Ministers discussing ceasefire options/ Things appearing what they are, the IDF has no alternative to order an expanded ground forces operation in Gaza, the report adds.

UPDATE: 9:07AM IL: It appears rockets directed at Sderot were not intercepted. Responders are now trying to locate the site of impact. There are no immediate reports of injuries/ Two rockets heading for Ashdod were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 9:06AM IL: Another siren in Sderot.

UPDATE: 9:05AM IL: Sirens sounding in Sderot and Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 9:04AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon/ A total of two rockets intercepted en route to Beersheva in last attack.

UPDATE: 9:03AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 9:02AM IL: Sirens sounding in Bnei Shimon Regional Council and other areas/ Iron dome intercepts another rocket heading for Beersheva.

UPDATE: 9:01AM IL: Retired IDF Major-General Danny Yatom explains that he and other former senior officers convened with Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the latter’s behest to discuss the warfare in Gaza. Yatom explained that while there is little he can reveal from that meeting, he did say “the overwhelming number of officers present oppose a ground forces operation in Gaza under present circumstances”.

UPDATE: 9:00AM IL: The shouts of “Bibi get them!” are audible in Beersheva following a heavy wave of rocket fire, with residents calling on the prime minister to order a ground forces operation in Gaza to bring Hamas rocket fire to a halt once and for all.

UPDATE: 8:59AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva at this time.

UPDATE: 8:52AM IL: Negev police chief reports the driver of the bus hit in the Beersheva rocket attack was transported to a hospital with “light injuries”.

UPDATE: 8:50AM IL: Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Shteinitz reports the cabinet has met and efforts are underway to expedite financial assistance to southern Israeli residents and businesses as the government is aware the ongoing warfare is hitting them hard.

UPDATE: 8:48AM IL: Unlike citizens of Gaza who are warned ahead of an attack by the IDF, the citizens of Beersheva, Ashdod and other southern areas do not receive any warnings from terrorists, who continue pounding civilian population centers with rocket fire.

UPDATE: 8:44AM IL: One incoming rocket intercepted in the Be’er Tuvia area. Rocket heading for Ashdod intercepted by the Iron Dome as well.

UPDATE: 8:43AM IL: One rocket was fired at Ashkelon earlier, landing in an open area. There were no injuries.

UPDATE: 8:41AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod and Gan Yavne at this time.

UPDATE: 8:39AM IL: Zaka responders are running from apartment to apartment following the direct hit to a Beersheva apartment building. The responders are checking each and every room of every apartment to make certain there are no injured people in the building who cannot seek assistance on their own.

UPDATE: 8:38AM IL: Eleanor Amdor of Beersheva explains she lives on the fourth floor and ran to a stairwell to take cover earlier this morning. She explains that Baruch Hashem she got out of the apartment and took cover for the damage to her home is considerable.

UPDATE: 8:32AM IL: It is reported that approximately 16 katyusha rockets were fired at Beersheva and Ofakim. Eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome over Beersheva and three smashed down in the city; one making a direct hit to an apartment building, one near homes, and one next to a bus. It remains unclear just what happened to the other rockets.

Channel 10 reports the bus in Beersheva was not empty as first reported. The driver stopped the bus upon hearing the siren and passengers ran off, taking cover.

UPDATE: 8:27AM IL: The damage to one Beersheva home that sustained a direct hit is extremely extensive. There is significant damage to an apartment building and a number of vehicles.

It is difficult to believe no one was killed or seriously injured in that attack, highlighting HKBH’s chessed.

UPDATE: 8:25AM IL: Sirens sounding in Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara.

UPDATE: 8:22AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon

UPDATE: 8:16AM IL: A number of people being treated for hysteria following a direct hit by a katyusha rocket in Ofakim as well as in Beersheva.

It appears damage at those locations is extensive. B’chasdei Hashem there was no loss of life or serious physical injuries.

UPDATE: 8:12AM IL: Ichud Hatzalah reports one female with light injuries in Beersheva/ A rocket made a direct hit to a bus, which B’chasdei Hashem was empty, without any passengers/ A number of vehicles were hit in Beersheva as well/ Appears there were 12 katyusha rockets fired at Beersheva and Ofakim.

UPDATE: 8:10AM IL: Beersheva: Rockets impacted in more than one area. Channel 2 reports a female was injured. More to follow.

UPDATE: 8:08AM IL: Appears there was one direct hit in Ofakim, as well as damage to a bus and buildings in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 8:06AM IL: While some rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, an unspecified number did impact in the city(ies) and there are reports of damage. Baruch Hashem there is no reports of loss of life or injuries at this time.

UPDATE: 8:00AM IL: Heavy wave of rocket fire to Beersheva and Ofakim

UPDATE: 7:37AM IL: Israel Police remains on high alert nationwide amid mounting credible intelligence warnings of planned terror attacks.

UPDATE: 7:32AM IL: Sirens sounded minutes ago in the Eshkol Regional Council area. There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

UPDATE: 7:30AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts one incoming rocket.

UPDATE: 7:27AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva at this time.

UPDATE: 7:22AM IL: While the Hebrew name of the counterterrorism operation translates to “Pillar of Cloud”, YWN-ISRAEL has changed over to “Pillar of Defense” after Day 1 of the offensive in line with the English name of the operation being used by the IDF, not wishing to add confusion by presenting a different English title other than the one selected by Israel.

UPDATE: 7:19AM IL: IDF Spokesman: Over 1,450 terror targets hit since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

UPDATE: 7:15AM IL: There is a growing fear that keeping the soldiers in a holding pattern for so many days may diminish their readiness to operate at the highest possible level if the order is given to advance into Gaza.

UPDATE: 7:13AM IL: Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) reports the cabinet will permit continued talks towards reaching a ceasefire with Hamas.

The ground forces waiting for the order will not be sent into Gaza today, permitting a final opportunity to avoid an expanded counterterrorism offensive.

UPDATE: 7:09AM IL: Hamas reports that senior Izzadin al-Kassam commander Abu Anaza was among terrorists targeted by IAF in strikes during the night.

UPDATE: 7:07AM IL: President Shimon Peres scheduled to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon today, who will be arriving in Jerusalem and Ramallah from Cairo.

UPDATE: 7:03AM IL: Loud explosions heard this morning in Sderot as the IDF continues to pound terrorists in Gaza.

UPDATE: 7:02AM IL: Cyber Authority officials report an unprecedented 44 million hacking attempts against Israeli sites since the beginning of Operation Defense Pillar.

UPDATE: 7:00AM IL: Israel to give Hamas an ultimatum today, either agree to ceasefire terms or prepare for an expanded military operation.

UPDATE: 6:57AM IL: The IDF during the night attacked at least 100 terrorist targets in Gaza.

UPDATE 5:20AM IL: Loud explosions being reported in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza as well as in Gaza City.

UPDATE 4:07AM IL: IAF airstrikes now reported in Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis.

UPDATE 4:01AM IL: The United States cannot accept a U.N. resolution or statement that undermines bids to establish a ceasefire in Gaza, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has said, according to the AFP.

UPDATE 3:43AM IL: IDF launches multiple airstrikes in Gaza City, including a Hamas Government building. No word on casualties.

UPDATE 2:42AM IL: IDF Naval ships are currently hitting targets in Gaza.

UPDATE 2:22AM IL: It appears that the Iron Dome has intercepted 3 rockets fired from Gaza just after 2:00AM.

UPDATE 2:00AM IL: Sirens now sounding in Sderot, Askelon & Kiryat Gat.

UPDATE 1:54AM IL: Three U.S. Navy amphibious warships are returning to the eastern Mediterranean to remain on standby in the event they are needed to assist Americans leaving Israel in the coming days, according to two U.S. officials.

The officials stressed an evacuation remains an extremely remote possibility and the Obama administration is not currently planning for one. Americans who wish to leave the region now are able to do so using commercial airlines. (CNN)

UPDATE 1:45PM IL: The National Islamic Ban has just been hit by the Israeli Air Force in central Gaza. The bank is reportedly used by Hamas to pay its “employees”.

UPDATE 1:13AM IL: A police station in Gaza has been hit by an Israeli air strike.

UPDATE 12:17AM IL: Rockets have just landed in open areas of Ofakim. No injuries or damage reported. The number of rockets is unknown.

UPDATE: 12:00AM IL: With the clock striking midnight on Monday evening / Tuesday morning, Israel has now entered “Day 7 of Operation Pillar of Defense”. Stay with YWN as we continue our non-stop 24 hour news coverage – updated just seconds after an event occurs.

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 6 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 5 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 4 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 3 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 2 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 1 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


24 Comments

  1. derchusid says:

    THANK YOU.
    May there only be b’suros tovos to write.

  2. mmg says:

    I saw on facebook that israel had started it’s ground invasion? Is this true?

  3. computerbubby says:

    Please daven for all the IDF including my cousin who was called up yesterday. From what I understand, if they go into Gaza he will be right up there, that’s his job, advance reconnoitering & disarming. May G-d protect them all.

  4. derchusid says:

    Isn’t the place called “aza” in Tanach and not “gaza” ?!

  5. ddayleah says:

    @computerbubby, what is your grandson’s name? May Hashem bless him and protect him and klal yisroel to be safe.

  6. Avi says:

    Would it be possible to start putting the source of these updates in parentheses next to the breaking news?

    I.e. Rockets fired on _____ (via Haaretz) or (Haaretz)

    Moderators Note: These sources are all YWN (unless otherwise noted), being published by our news room in Jerusalem, by our staff of veteran reporters.

  7. avreimi says:

    At least the Israelis have now closed the crossing into Gaza. They should tell Wanky Moon or whatever his name is to stay away and devote all his time to solving the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

  8. ChaimTovim says:

    Ban Ki Moon, not Bank Ki Moon or Band….

  9. takingabreak says:

    Let him meet in a rocket zone either he will get it or mAybe he will really get it

  10. brooklynhocker says:

    Wanky Moon :) - now that’s funny.

  11. ChanieE says:

    Thanks for your breaking news updates. Waiting for the one announcing Mashiach’s arrival!!!

  12. WIY says:

    Mmg
    No frum Jew should have facebook.

  13. zachweix says:

    ChanieE – Bimhera Biyamenu

  14. Rebyid40 says:

    Why, oh why, is Israel agreeing to a cease fire?! This will simply give Hamas a chance to salvage parts of its weaponry, and infrastructure and enable it to regroup to be prepared for the next round in 2-3 years. It also makes Israel look weak thereby removing any deterrence the fear of an IDF assault would engender. Finish the job!! You have them reeling on the ropes!!!

  15. takingabreak says:

    What foolishness

  16. takingabreak says:

    Honeymoon should go stuff his mouth with bananas and b quiet go worry about the “innocent” Syrian being killed

  17. takingabreak says:

    “monkeyboon “

  18. rabbiofberlin says:

    rebyid40 and others: you are right in asking the IDF to “finish’ the job but the problem is Gaza. Unless you re-occupy Gaza, an actual incursion will not destroy the infrastructure-because they hide it ands can re-built it.The best interpretation of this conflict appeared in (of all places) in the NYT, quoting an Israeli offical as saying that-with gaza- “we will have to cut the grass”,meaning that every few years, we’ll have to bomb them to oblivion to give Israel some peace. It is difficult to destroy Hamas entirely unless you want to re-occupy Gaza.

  19. Rebyid40 says:

    Ban Ki Moon cautions against a ground invasion?? Who asked for his input? He’s as good as his predecessor, Kofi (the Kof) Anan…

  20. EY Mom says:

    Exactly, #18. They should re-occupy Gaza.
    And if there is a cease-fire, which benefits Hamas and no one else in the long term, then it should be made clear that at the first rocket that flies, Israel cuts of water and electricity!!!

  21. takingabreak says:

    Another hamas victory

  22. Alan Flam says:

    Sorry to say, some of you are simply lacking common sense.

    You are almost like the people of Egypt which are all screaming why their Government does not attack Israel! Well we know, for tactical or political reasons, they cannot!

    You are screaming; we need to invade, we need this, we need to do that…… The Government of Israel simply CANNOT DO IT! Come to reality! Yes they have the military capability but there is much more realities that need to be dealt with

    So don’t give advice until you are asked for it. You will know once you will sit on the chairs of Government

  23. Joe Yeshivish says:

    I’m still wating for the “heavy price” Hamas will pay, that Ehud Barack promised! I must of missed it. Now they will “agree” to a cease fire?! Wow, Israel doesn’t need enemies. They have themselves to contend with! When there is NO Torah r”l, there is no self value! What a bunch of lefty defeatests! They’re more concerned with what Bunk Head has to say! Ehud, what happened to your promise?

  24. boobah1101 says:

    according to my friend in Tekoa the woman was hurt by flying stones r”l, not by being shot. either way tragic, but I know you strive for accuracy so I am just letting you know. May HaShem protect all of our brothers and sisters in the holy land, especially those braving the front lines.

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