Israeli forces shoot 21 Palestinians in multiple incidents across the occupied territories, including a nine-year-old girl shot in the hand, while standing on the porch of her home, and a ten-year-old boy shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet in the head. Others at the same scene are affected by tear gas. The girls is taken to a local hospital and is reported to be in moderate condition.
Israel launches an airstrike after troops see “a group of armed terrorists” approach the border of the Golan Heights.with an explosive intended to target Israeli troops. It said that Israeli aircraft “targeted the squad, preventing the attack.” Iran’s state-run, English-language satellite news channel Press TV reports four people were killed. Hours before the border strike, Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon warned Syria and Iran against arming Hezbollah with such weapons.
We will not allow the transfer of quality weapons to terror groups led by Hezbollah and we know how to reach them and those that dispatch them at any time.
A video translated by the MEMRI monitoring service shows an Al-Jazeera Arabic reporter’s visit to the site of tunnel-digging operations by the armed wing of Islamic Jihad under the Israeli border. A tunnel worker:
We are now in one of the tunnels of the Al-Quds Brigades, on which work began as soon as the war on Gaza ended and the ceasefire was declared. We have begun work and we are continuing it regardless of the threats by the Zionist enemy. We will not be hindered by the threats of the enemy, or by the ban on importing cement and other building materials.
A Western diplomat says Israel shares satellite imagery and other intelligence on ISIS to support the U.S.-led air campaign against the group. The source says that the intel is often then passed on to Saudi Arabia and Turkey after being ‘scrubbed’ of traces of its Israeli origin. Israeli spy satellites overflying Iraq at angles and frequencies unavailable from U.S. satellites have provided images that allowed the Pentagon to ‘fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessments’ after strikes on Islamic State targets. Israel has also shared information from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining ISIS:
The Israelis are very good with passenger data and with analysing social media in Arabic to get a better idea of who these people are.
Israel Defense Ministry spokesman:
We don’t comment on any assistance by us, or if there is such assistance, in the fight against ISIS
The number of Palestinian deaths rises to 1,903 as five people are killed in fresh airstrikes after the 72-hour truce window ends. Israel says 65 rockets have been launched from the Gaza strip by Palestinian factions, and it has responded with 63 strikes. Three people were killed in an attack on a mosque in the Nusseirat refugee camp and two when a motorcycle was hit in the Maghazi refugee camp, Gaza’s Health Ministry says.
The Israeli government says that Hamas broke the truce agreement by firing rockets before the ceasefire window expired at midnight Eastern Standard Time:
Israel agreed to Egypt’s call to extend the 72-hour ceasefire. Shortly after 4 a.m., with the ceasefire still in effect, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza by terrorists, followed by dozens of more rockets that were fired from Gaza, causing injuries and damage in Israel.
It adds that two rockets were fired during the window:
22 rockets were fired at #Israel today, two of them were fired at 4 am (four hours before the ceasefire ended).
This prompts the Israeli response:
After hours of renewed rocket fire from Gaza, PM Netanyahu and DM Yaalon ordered the IDF to respond with force…Israel will continue defending itself against Hamas’ terror.
The sister of South Padre Island, Tx., native and Israel Defense Forces lone soldier Nissin Sean Carmeli says he died in order to stop terror as well as anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, while the international focus on Israel is ‘hypocritical’ when there are many genocides and conflicts worldwide:
The only thing that has been on my mind for the past two weeks is why my brother really died. It seems a little hypocritical. Aborigines in Australia, Indians in America, Armenians in Turkey, Tutsis in Rwanda, Iraqis by ISIS, Syrians by their own kind, Russia, Europe, Africa, and the list goes on. But the media emphasizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The political focus is on the Jews, the Jews, yes, the Jews. Perhaps this is all I see.
She says that terrorism begins in Israel, but…
…like the Islamic State recently said, ‘The Islamic caliphate has been established, God willing it will not stop until we raise the flag of Prophet Muhammad in the White House.’ My brother fought terrorism, not only for my family and me, but for all of you as well, with the hope that someday, Jews, Christians, Muslims and all religious and seculars people will find serenity in their homes, in their hearts, and in their minds.
The Israeli delegation arrives in Cairo to begin peace talks. The Israeli team includes Netanyahu aide Yitzhak Molcho, Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad and Yoram Cohen, head of the Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet. Earlier, Khalil al-Haya and Emad al-Alami of Hamas and Khaled al-Batsh of Islamic Jihad have traveled through the Rafah border crossing to Sinai after the Egyptians managed to receive assurances that Israel would not target them. Hamas is presenting a long list of demands including opening border crossings, the re-release of prisoners, and building an airport and seaport, while the two major Israeli objectives are to prevent Hamas rearming in the short term, and demilitarizing Gaza in the longer term, however Islamic Jihad senior representative Ziad al-Nakhaleh says disarming will not be discussed in the indirect negotiations:
This issue is nonnegotiable.
At least 1,867 Palestinians have died in the 29 days of the 2014 Gaza conflict prior to the latest ceasefire and peace talks getting underway. In Israel, 64 soldiers and three civilians are dead. The United Nations and Gaza human rights groups say that at least 75% of the Palestinians killed are civilians, however Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says that about 900 were militants, while the IDF separately estimates that between 750 and 1,000 of the Palestinian dead were combatants.
The Israel Defense Forces calculates it has destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the ceasefire. It says 14 of them crossed into Israel and two had shafts located 300-500 meters from Israel, while 11 of the 64 IDF soldiers who died in the conflict were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from the tunnels into southern Israel. IDF Lt. Col. Peter Lerner:
They were part of a strategic plan of Hamas, and an investment of approximately $100 million worth of materials, and we have now removed that threat
The IDF says that in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, Hamas fired 3,356 rockets at Israel, 2,303 of which hit Israeli territory, 116 in populated areas, while 356 were intended to target IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip. A total of 578 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, and 475 landed within the Gaza Strip. Military statement:
Prior to the operation, the IDF estimated the Gaza rocket arsenal at approximately 10,000, one-third of which were fired at Israel, and an additional one-third was demolished by the IDF.
The IDF says that of 3,365 rockets fired by Hamas in the 29 days of the 2014 Gaza conflict prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, 597 were launched from civilian facilities, approximately 260 were launched from schools, 127 from cemeteries, 160 from religious sites such as mosques, and 50 from hospitals. Just under 70% were fired from the northern Gaza Strip, 12.9% were fired from the central Gaza Strip, and 17.3% were fired from its southern region.
The IDF says it has struck around 4,762 targets in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, most of them rocket-launching sites, nearly 1,000 of them command and control centers, about 240 Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades buildings, nearly 200 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, nearly 150 terror training compounds and 1,535 additional sites.
At least a dozen protestors are arrested and five police injured as firecrackers, rocks and Molotov cocktails are thrown by protestors in two days of rioting at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, in connection with the fast day of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av on the Jewish calendar when it is customary to mourn the destruction of the first and second Jewish temples. The Temple Mount is open to visitors after security forces push the protestors back into the Al Aqsa mosque and implement extra security measures.
Visits on the Temple Mount continue as normal after police disperse Arab rioters. Extra security measures in old city today for jewish fast.
— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) August 5, 2014
A former chief commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards says Hamas rockets fired at Israeli targets are the ‘blessing’ of a technology transfer. Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaei, quoted by state Arabic channel Al-Alam:
Palestinian resistance missiles are the blessings of Iran’s transfer of technology […] We need to transfer defensive and military technology to Palestinians so that they can build weapons under the blockade and defend themselves
Revolutionary Guards have said in the past that Hamas’ Gaza Strip arsenal includes Fajr-5 missile rockets that are produced locally from technology supplied by Iran without requiring direct shipment. He says he has asked President Hassan Rouhani to provide air defense systems to allow Hamas to shoot down Israeli aircraft, and says kidnapping soldiers is an effective technique:
Getting their soldiers captured is the weak point of Israelis. Should two or three be captured, all Zionists will surrender
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal tells CNN’s Nic Robertson the group did not agree to conditions of the 72-hour ceasefire that allowed Israel Defense Forces to remain in Gaza and continue operations to neutralize tunnels. The truce broke down after less than two hours as Israel bombarded parts of Gaza in response to the alleged kidnapping of a soldier. In an interview from Doha:
A truce is a truce, but the presence of the Israeli forces inside Gaza and destroying the tunnels means it’s an aggression. We did not deceive Mr. John Kerry, and we did not deceive the Israelis, we fight honorably. We told everyone that this is our position. … Therefore they are the ones who should be responsible for this.
#Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told me had not agreed to ceasefire including Israel's presence and destruction of tunnels in Gaza. exclusive
— Nic Robertson (@NicRobertsonCNN) August 2, 2014
The Israel Defense Forces says 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin has died in Gaza and is listed as a fallen soldier whose resting place is unknown. The decision to declare him dead is made according to the findings of a special board headed by IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier Gen. Rafi Peretz, which takes into account medical evidence and halachic considerations of Jewish law among other factors. The message is delivered to the family by Peretz, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Head of Personnel Major General Orna Barbibay. Goldin in an interview on completing officer training:
In life, you can choose to do things for yourself and you can choose to do great things.
The UK government and Foreign Office are investigating reports that Rochdale man Kadir Islam has died following an Israeli airstrike in the southern city of Rafah. Friends say he was killed while delivering medical supplies to a hospital, but it isn’t known which agency he was working for. Prime Minister Cameron:
I’m extremely concerned about these reports and we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom (of them) and find out exactly what has happened. I don’t want to say anything before we’ve been able to do that but this only reinforces the need for an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire observed properly by both sides. This slaughter, this killing has got to end.
Thousands attend the funeral of 23-year-old IDF Second Lt. Hadar Goldin at the military section of the Kfar Sava cemetery, with only those on a list created by the family admitted to the cemetery and the rest of the crowd gathering outside the gates. The fiancee, mother and twin brother of the Givati Brigade reconnaissance soldier, initially believed kidnapped by Hamas and later confirmed dead, express their regrets along with two family rabbis while his father urges the crowd to ‘live righteously.’ Simha Goldin:
You who came en masse, live righteously and don’t hate one another. Hadar wanted to be a Jewish fighter. Do the same as he did. Take the bible with you and become Jewish fighters. I thank the crowds who came from far and wide to be with my family.
Israel begins scaling back forces in Gaza, with eyewitnesses reporting tanks pulling back from urban areas towards the border. The drawdown is aimed at allowing Israel to regroup and plan its next course of action, with troops set to soon pull back from densely populated urban areas once tunnel destruction is completed, and decide over the next three days how to proceed with its goals. Netanyahu makes a televised speech:
We promised to return quiet to Israel and that is what we will do. We will continue to act until that goal is reached, however long it will take and with as much force as needed
Hamas says it has no clear indication of the whereabouts of Israel Defense Forces Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin or of militants that the IDF says kidnapped him, and assesses that he has been killed by his own side. In a statement:
We have lost contact with the group of fighters that took part in the ambush and we believe they were all killed in the (Israeli) bombardment. Assuming that they managed to seize the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident.
The IDF’s Hannibal Procedure rule states that no soldier of any rank is to be captured, and includes standing orders to bombard possible escape routes in the event of an abduction.
Obama calls on Hamas to demonstrate that it can meet ceasefire commitments by releasing Israel Defense Forces 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin who has been dragged into a tunnel by militants 90 minutes into the 72-hour truce agreement:
If they are serious about resolving the situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible. I think it’s going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israel and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment.
We are very close to completing the mission of dealing with the tunnels […] There’s no point in promoting an agreement. We’re not talking about cease-fires anymore. Israel will act in its own interest. We will take action against attacks from Gaza, and will finish dealing with the tunnels
The Israel Defense Forces says the 70,000 residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya can return, signaling its offensive in the area is winding down. All-clear statement:
The residents are advised to beware of explosive devices Hamas has spread across the area
The brother of an Israel Defense Forces soldier killed in Gaza says Netanyahu must decide whether to leave Gaza and pursue diplomacy, or destroy the territory. Omar Gotlib’s Facebook account:
I ask you to take the children out of Gaza and turn to diplomacy — or just stop being afraid of the world and turn Gaza into rubble. I’m not afraid of the boycott to come. My countrymen are more important than a few opinions in the faraway, distant world
The left-wing Meretz voter, who does not support Netanyahu’s Likud, says Gaza should be taken…
…if not pleasantly, then with full force — without soldiers, only bombs weighing ton upon ton. Just don’t let the erosion and attrition continue. Stop being a politician, and be a leader. Make a decision free of outside interests, just out of concern for the pure souls that are in that accursed place, which rivals the Dead Sea as ‘The Lowest Place in the World.’
Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra says 17 Gaza residents are killed in Israeli strikes ahead of the 72-hour ceasefire agreed to by both sides. He says the dead include 10 members of one family killed in an airstrike in Khan Younis, while Gaza police report heavy Israeli tank shelling in northern and eastern Gaza.
Israeli artillery starts a heavy bombardment of targets in the Gaza Strip around three hours into the 72-hour ceasefire period, said to be in response to rocket fire during the preceding hour. The Kerem Shalom crossing is closed after coming under rocket fire, with the Israel Defense Forces focusing its strikes on the southern town of Rafah.
Hamas reports that the Israel Air Force has struck along the Philadelphi corridor on the territory’s border with Egypt minutes after the 72-hour ceasefire begins, while the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts six incoming rockets aimed at Ashdod, and another three explode outside the town. The truce holds despite the exchanges of fire.
The U.S. Congress passes a $225 million funding bill for Iron Dome ahead of the five-week summer break for lawmakers. The House of Representatives 395-8 vote in favor follows unanimous Senate approval and the bill now goes to President Barack Obama, who requested the money and is expected to sign it into law. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on the Senate floor:
We will stand with you on the battlefield; we will stand with you in the court of public opinion, and we’re going to push back against the United Nations.
As many as nine people are reported killed in the West Bank in two days following the breakdown of the 72-hour ceasefire agreement. The Israel Defense Forces resorts to firing live rounds during rioting in Tulkarem city, the villages of Saffa, Beit Fajar and Beit Umar and the Arroub refugee camp while witnesses say a person in a car, believed to be a settler, shoots dead 18-year-old Khaled Azmi Odeh and wounds three others near Nablus. An IDF spokeswoman comments on Tulkarem:
1,200 rioters [throwing] rocks and Molotov cocktails at troops and at an industrial center in the vicinity, endangering workers and passers-by […] The forces used riot dispersal means and once these means were exhausted, they fired at the main instigators
The Palestinian death toll reaches 1,374 on day 24 of the 2014 Gaza conflict as at least 10 people are killed in Israeli strikes and three more die of existing injuries, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra says. Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have died in fighting and rocket fire has killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker inside Israel.
An Israel Defense Forces official says the military has called up an additional 16,000 reservists on day 24 of Operation Protective Edge, in order ‘to give the army the time needed to complete the mission.’ This brings the total number called up during the campaign to 86,000.
We’ll decide today where to place them and in which commands
The Pentagon confirms that Israel has been allowed to draw tank shells and illumination rounds from a cache of U.S. arms and equipment stored on Israeli soil. Known as the War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel program or WRSA-1, the billion-dollar reserve was established as part of expanded mutual cooperation during the 1980s and can be accessed with U.S. approval, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service the last time Israel was allowed to tap the stockpile was during the 2006 Lebanon war against Hezbollah.
The Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University find in a poll that 95% of Israelis support Operation Protective Edge as “just” and only 4% or less say that the Israel Defense Forces has used excessive force in the 2014 Gaza conflict:
Over the course of the surveys, Israeli Jewish public opinion has been consistently almost unanimous in its definition of Operation Protective Edge as justified – an average of 95% (96%, 92%, and 97% over the course of the three surveys).
The Home Front Command is given an average grade of 9.1, 8.6, and 9.1 on a scale of 1-10, with one being very poor and 10 being very good, while the performance of the government was rated as 8.0, 6.3, and 8.0.
Two missiles fired by the Israel Defense Forces are said to strike the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, which is empty at the time. No casualties are reported. His son, Abdel Salam:
The Israeli enemy struck our house twice.
Two people are killed and at least 90 injured as a protest involving an estimated 10,000 people breaks out in violent clashes with soldiers and border police at a checkpoint in Qalandiya, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Israeli forces go to heightened alert and mobilize different units in and around Jerusalem to ‘deal with disturbances.’ Army spokeswoman:
There are thousands of rioters there. They are rolling burning tyres and throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at soldiers and border police.
More than 30,000 people pay their respects as Israel Defense Forces lone soldier Max Steinberg is laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, with Israelis lining streets in Jerusalem in response to online drives to attend the 24-year-old California native’s funeral. 29-year-old Lod resident Eli Stern:
I came to support the family after hearing on the social networks that most of his family were not in the country. I do not know him, but I felt I had to be here, for his parents who come from abroad to feel all the people standing behind them, and that Max did not fall for nothing
That’s a remarkable statement – we’re very grateful
Commander Col. Rasan Alian says he will return to complete the elite Golani Brigade’s mission in the 2014 Gaza conflict after he is moderately wounded in an exchange of fire.
I want to go back to Gaza, and get to as many terrorists as possible
On heavy losses sustained by the unit:
I’d like to send a big hug to the bereaved families. I did not have a chance to meet them. We stand with them. They are strengthening us
An Israeli military official and politician say the Gaza tunnel network is ‘immense’ and creates a threat of a ‘mega-attack.’ Israel Defense Forces Capt. Eytan Buchman:
All of Gaza is an underground city, and the amount of infrastructure Hamas built up over the years is immense. There are tunnels, extended bunkers, weapons storage facilities, even within urban areas
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett:
There is a world of weapons tunnels penetrating into Israel, creating the possibility of a mega-attack
Israel’s Army Radio reports many as 20,000 attend the funeral of First Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, the American-Israeli lone soldier killed in the Gaza strip during Operation Defensive Edge, and other media report as many as 18,000. Haifa’s main soccer club, Maccabi Haifa, which Carmeli supported, invites people to the city’s military cemetery to ‘come give final honors to a hero who was killed so that we can live.’
Sean Carmeli was a lone soldier and we don’t want his funeral to be empty […] That’s the least we can do for him and for our people.
A 16-year-old Palestinian combatant is treated in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital after being captured when emerging from a cross-border tunnel. Israel Radio describes him as being in moderate condition and says he was unconscious when hospitalized. A group of Hamas fighters dressed in Israel Defense Forces uniforms enters Israel near Kibbutz Nir Am and kills four IDF soldiers in a jeep before the Israeli squad returns fire, killing 10, while a second group crosses into Israel via a tunnel exiting near Erez, across the border from Beit Hanoun city, and clashes with IDF leaving several Gazans dead and no Israelis hurt. It is not stated which group the 16-year-old was part of. The report adds that IDF soldiers being treated in Israeli hospitals for combat wounds say they have encountered 13- and 14-year-old Palestinian children running at them wearing suicide-bomber explosive belts.
Alian tells his soldiers that they have the support of Israel, as the elite unit joins the ground campaign of the 2014 Gaza conflict with a mission to ‘remove Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure and restore quiet to Israel.’
The Shabbath has just ended. Our nation is behind us, and it has great expectations for Golani. It expects us to weaken Hamas. I am certain that the Golani Brigade will succeed in this mission. Go ahead. Over.
July 20.The Golani Brigade enters Gaza on a mission: remove Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure & restore quiet to Israel http://t.co/UeIm2RQ89F
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 22, 2014
Netanyahu tells Blitzer that Hamas baits Israel into killing civilians in order to create ‘telegenically dead’ victims that they can use to influence public opinion in the 2014 Gaza conflict:
What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use – it’s gruesome. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead the better.
Netanyahu tells Blitzer that reoccupation of the Gaza Strip would be an ‘excessive military plan’ and that nobody in Israel’s government wants to go to that extent, but doesn’t appear to completely rule out the possibility of retaking the territory:
I support taking whatever action is necessary to stop this insane situation…Just imagine – I mean, imagine what Israel is going through. Imagine that 75 percent of the U.S. population is under rocket fire and they have to be in bomb shelters within 60 to 90 seconds. So, I’m not just talking about New York – New York, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Miami, you name it. That’s impossible. You can’t live like that. So I think we have to bring back, restore back a reasonable, sustained quiet and security. And we will take whatever action is necessary to achieve that.
When Blitzer asks if that includes possibly reoccupying Gaza:
Nobody wants to go to excessive military plans, but what is happening here is excessive.
Netanyahu says that Israel doesn’t ‘obliterate’ Palestinian civilians and has no battle with anyone other than Hamas, but that the brutality results from Hamas’ tendency to place rocket launchers near civilian targets – a tactic which he says is intentional.
People would say in the United States, as they’re telling me, obliterate the people. We don’t obliterate them. We don’t want to – we don’t have any battle with the Palestinians in Gaza.
He adds that having the right to self-defense also means being able to use it:
I appreciate the support we have received from President Obama and many world leaders for Israel’s right to self-defense. But others are saying, yes, you have the right of self-defense, as long as you don’t exercise it. What can a country do? What would you do? What would the people of the United States do if – if your cities were rocketed now, 2,000 rockets falling in American cities?
Netanyahu tells Blitzer that Israel seeks to protect its citizens using its weapons, while Hamas has no interest in protecting civilians and uses its weapons to draw fire onto the Gaza Strip:
We develop anti-missile systems to protect. We use an anti-missile system to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That’s the difference. So, against such a cynical, brutal, heartless enemy, we try to minimize civilian casualties.
A total of 13 Golani Brigade soldiers are killed in a single morning of operations in Gaza while brigade commander Col. Gen. Rasan Alian is moderately wounded in an exchange of fire and hospitalized in Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. A timeline released by the Israel Defense Forces:
1:05 a.m., an armored personnel carrier catches fire after an explosive device is set off under it. Seven soldiers are killed. Reportedly, the APC was not fitted with armor that could withstand this type of blast.
1:30 a.m., a soldier is killed when two soldiers get into a firefight with terrorists.
5:45 a.m., another Golani force gets into a firefight with terrorists. Two soldiers are killed.
8:50 a.m., three soldiers are killed when a Golani squad is caught inside a burning building.
The Israel Defense Forces launches Operation Tzuk Eitan or Protective Edge. Airstrikes begin on selected targets in the Gaza Strip after 80 rockets are launched in a single day, and sirens are heard as far as as Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Gush Etzion announcing another barrage of 30 long range rockets is on its way in as the operation gets underway. The Israel Air Force begins dropping leaflets in various neighborhoods, telling residents to evacuate as it targets the homes of senior Hamas members.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 7, 2014
Rasan Alian becomes the first Israeli Druze to command the elite Golani Brigade and only the second non-Jewish commander in Israel Defense Forces history. He has previously served as commander of Battalion 51, the Reconnaissance Battalion and deputy commander of the brigade and also served in the Kfir Brigade as commander of the Duhifat Battalion. His most recent role is commander of the 36th Division on the Golan Heights. His eldest brother has served as a combat soldier, and his two younger brothers are serving as operations officers in different parts of the IDF. One of them, Basam Alian, has served as a battalion commander in the Givati Brigade.