29 Jul 2014

Israel warns of ‘lengthy’ battle against Hamas

Gazans report one of the heaviest nights of bombardment from Israeli forces, after an address by the Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu warning Israel to prepare for a prolonged “campaign”.

Israel‘s military said they targeted 70 “terror sites” in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Tuesday morning. At least 11 people were reported dead, with more fatalities expected.

The Israeli army said that five of its soldiers died after Hamas infiltrated through tunnels to Nahal Oz, inside Israel.

The heavy night of bombardment followed comments made by Binyamin Netanyahu quashing any hopes of a swift end to 22 days of fighting.

In a televised address on Monday night, Mr Netanyahu said that any solution to the crisis would require the demilitarisation of the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

“We will not finish the operation without neutralising the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of destroying our citizens, killing our children,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“We need to be prepared for a lengthy campaign. We will continue to act with force and discretion until our mission is accomplished,” he added.

The bombardment overnight on Tuesday also saw a missile fired at the house of Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh, but Gaza’s interior ministry said there were no casualties at the site.

Medic Aid Palestinians said that 1,095 people have been been killed in Gaza, and another 6,500 injured.