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Pro-Israel rallies held in 3 Australia cities

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 09:03

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – More than 3,000 people demonstrated in support of Israel at rallies in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

In Melbourne, a piercing siren shattered the silence Sunday as about 2,000 people joined a “Code Red” rally.

Dr. Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, told the crowd, “Israel faces a battle on three fronts — the battlefront in Gaza, the home front and the global front, where the legitimacy of her operations are questioned. It is imperative that the world hears the truth and understands that Israel is acting in self-defense.”

Nina Bassat, president of Melbourne’s Jewish community, added, “We are here today because the State of Israel, so integral to our sense of identity and indeed to our destiny, is suffering.”

Sen. Scott Ryan, representing Prime Minister Tony Abbott, told rally participants that “the Australian government stands with you.”

In Sydney, some 1,000 people converged on Central Synagogue in Bondi to hear Israeli Ambassador Shmuel Ben-Shmuel tell the crowd, “Your support is a source of encouragement, your compassion is a source of comfort and your solidarity is a source of hope.”

Across the city, Julie Nathan, the research officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, witnessed the 5,000-strong pro-Palestinian rally, which she described as a sea of “black flags of jihad, the yellow flags of a banned terrorist organization, Hezbollah, the Islamist chants and placards spewing anti-Semitism.”

She said some were bearing placards including “Israel: using one Holocaust to continue another since 1948″; “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another”; and “Netanyahu: modern day Hitler.”

One woman entered the throng flying an Israeli flag before police escorted her out of harm’s way, according to Nathan.

In Perth, about 500 supporters joined what was billed as a “peace rally,” with one federal and several state parliamentarians in attendance, according to reports.

 

Florida State U. prof Dan Markel slain in home shooting

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 08:00

(JTA) — Dan Markel, a law professor at Florida State University, died after being shot in his home.

Markel died Saturday morning, a day after being discovered shot in the back in his home and taken to the hospital, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. He was 41.

No suspects have been identified, the Democrat reported.

“I am deeply saddened to report that our colleague Dan Markel passed away early this morning,” FSU law school dean Donald Weidner said in a statement issued Saturday, adding that the case was still under active investigation by local authorities.

A memorial service was held Sunday at Congregation Shomrei Torah in Tallahassee. A memorial service will be held at the university in the fall when students return to campus.

Markel was a graduate of Harvard Law School and primarily taught criminal law at Florida State.

Markel’s writings have been featured in The New York Times, Slate and The Atlantic. He is the author of the 2009 book “Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties.” He also wrote a law blog called “Prawfsblawg.”

Report: Israel hit Sudan site housing missiles for Gaza

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 05:51

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel bombed a warehouse in Sudan housing long-range missiles heading for Hamas in Gaza, an Arabic newspaper reported.

The London-based Al-Arab quoted unnamed sources in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, as saying that Israel struck an ammunition warehouse on Friday located north of the capital. Sudanese officials had claimed the explosion was caused by a fire, according to reports.

Israel’s military has not responded to the allegations.

In 2009, Israel carried out three airstrikes in western Sudan on a convoy reportedly carrying weapons to Gaza. Israel was blamed as well for a 2012 explosion in a weapons plant in Khartoum that reportedly was building weapons for Hamas.

Israel kills infiltrators near Gaza border

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 05:28

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli troops killed 10 infiltrators who came through a tunnel from northern Gaza into southern Israel.

The infiltrators emerged from the tunnel Monday morning between two kibbutzes near the Gaza border, the Israel Defense Forces reported. The IDF said its radar captured the infiltration.

One cell of infiltrators was struck by Israeli airstrikes, the IDF said, and a second cell was killed in a gunfight with Israeli troops.

Residents of the two kibbutzes, Erez and Nir Am, and some surrounding southern Israeli towns were ordered to remain in their homes with the doors locked for several hours on Monday morning as the IDF searched for more possible infiltrators.

Israel’s Shin Bet security service reportedly had warned the IDF of a potential infiltration in the area.

 

Two U.S. citizens among Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza City

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 05:07

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two American citizens were among the 13 Israeli soldiers killed in the heavy fighting in Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood.

Max Steinberg, 24, of Beersheba and Los Angeles, and Sean Carmeli, 21, of Raanana and South Padre Island, Texas, were members of the Golani Brigade killed Sunday in the battle.

Some 65 Palestinians were reported killed in the fighting.

Steinberg enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces several months after visiting Israel for the first time on a Birthright Israel trip in June 2012. He spoke to his father by phone hours before his death, according to the Times of Israel. The family is traveling to Israel for his funeral.

Carmeli, whose parents are Israelis who moved to Texas, moved to Israel to attend high school.  His two older sisters live in Israel. His parents reportedly are on their way to Israel.

The U.S. State Department confirmed both deaths late Sunday and said Steinberg and Carmeli were American citizens.

Main suspect in Khdeir revenge murder named

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 15:28

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The name of the main suspect in the revenge murder of a Palestinian teenager from eastern Jerusalem was released.

The suspect is Yosef Haim Ben-David, 29, of the Adam settlement near Jerusalem, who owns an eyewear store in Jerusalem and reportedly has a history of mental problems. His attorneys reportedly will enter a plea of insanity.

The Jerusalem District Court released his name late Sunday night after a gag order was lifted on the suspect’s identity.

Ben-David, who had appealed the release of his name to the public, is accused of beating 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir unconscious and then burning him to death. He and two other suspects, both 16-year-old males — from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh — told investigators that the slaying was in revenge for the kidnapping and murder last month of three Israeli teens.

The suspects have admitted to the murder and reenacted it for police.

Ben-David, who was committed to a mental hospital in recent months after allegedly attempting to murder his infant daughter, also is charged with attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old boy from eastern Jerusalem a day before the murder of Khdeir.

Khdeir was kidnapped from his eastern Jerusalem neighborhood early on the morning of July 2 and murdered hours later, less than a day after the funerals of Israeli teens Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach.

Last week, Israel’s Defense Ministry recognized Khdeir as a terror victim.

Backstreet Boys scrap Israel shows due to Gaza crisis

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 15:18

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Backstreet Boys canceled three sold-out concerts in Israel due to the Gaza conflict.

The American pop band posted a message Sunday on its official website announcing the cancellation of the July 29-31 concerts at the Raanana Amphitheater “to assure the safety of the audience.” New dates will be scheduled for the spring.

“This is a major disappointment for the band and fans as this was to be our first visit to Israel and we looked forward to meeting our fans,” the message said.

Canadian singer Paul Anka also canceled two concerts set for this week in Tel Aviv. The concerts will be rescheduled “once the local situation is resolved,” according to a statement issued by his representative.

Earlier, the Gaza conflict forced the cancellations of a Neil Young concert in Tel Aviv and a performance by the band America.

Israel’s Supreme Court: State need not move more shelters near Bedouin

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 14:23

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel does not have to move more bomb shelters into Bedouin communities in the Negev Desert, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled.

The ruling on Sunday, on an emergency request by several Israeli human rights organization, did call for officials to prepare official criteria for protecting civilian communities in the South and present it within 30 days.

The emergency petition was filed late last week after two Bedouin teens living in an unrecognized village in the South were injured by a rocket fired from Gaza. On Saturday, a Bedouin man was killed and his infant daughter seriously injured by rocket fire near Dimona.

The court recognized that the government has a limited number of portable bomb shelters and distributes them according to the most need. In their ruling, the justices said they “felt confident that if the circumstances were to change in such a way as to justify the transfer of shelters to the villages that the respondents would alter their position.”

According to the petition, approximately 100,000 Bedouin live in Negev villages, mostly in temporary shacks and huts that do not provide protection from falling rockets, and there are no bomb shelters or safe zones in the villages. Residents also said they cannot hear the sirens warning of rocket attacks.

Obama tells Netanyahu that Kerry will travel to region

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 13:56

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Secretary of State John Kerry will head to the Middle East to work out a cease-fire in the Gaza conflict, President Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sunday’s phone conversation was the second in three days for Obama and Netanyahu about the Gaza operation.

According to a readout of the call released by the White House, Obama informed Netanyahu that John Kerry “will soon travel to Cairo to seek an immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 cease-fire agreement.”

Obama raised “serious concern about the growing number of casualties,” including Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers, the readout said. The president also “reiterated the United States’ condemnation of attacks by Hamas against Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Netanyahu in a televised address to Israelis on Sunday night asserted, “We are doing everything to secure the lives of our citizens and soldiers. Israel did not choose to launch this campaign. It was forced on us.”

Addressing the families of the 18 soldiers who have died in the ground operation launched late last week, Netanyahu said, “There’s no war that justifies bringing your sons to the grave.” He called the Israeli troops “professional, determined, and strong both spiritually and in firepower.” He also said the Israel Defense Forces is “exceeding expectations” in Gaza.

Netanyahu said Israel gained international backing for continuing its Gaza operation by accepting three requested cease-fires, two humanitarian, in recent days.

He said Hamas had worked for years on the labyrinth of tunnels discovered under Gaza and leading into Israel, and that the terrorist group was at the point of “terrible terror attacks on us.”

“That was Hamas’ plan all along,” Netanyahu said.

U.N. agency returned rockets to Hamas, Israeli official says

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 13:37

JERUSALEM (JT)A — Rockets discovered in a United Nations agency school in Gaza were returned to Hamas, an Israeli official said.

The rockets were handed over to local government authorities, a senior Israeli official told the Times of Israel. The local government authorities in Gaza are Hamas, he reportedly pointed out.

About 20 rockets were discovered on the premises of a vacant United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza during what the agency called a “regular inspection.”

“This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” UNRWA said in its statement, adding that the incident “endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.”

The statement did not indicate who left the rockets in the school. It said the agency launched an investigation into the incident.

Israel has requested that the United Nations release photos of the rockets. The request has been denied, since the photos are evidence, according to UNRWA, which has said it will keep key players updated on the investigation, according to the Times of Israel.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.

Israeli-Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi detained at Haifa protest

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 13:33

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli-Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi was detained at a demonstration in Haifa against Israel’s Gaza operation.

Zoabi and lawmaker Jamal Zahalka, both of the Balad party, were handcuffed on Friday night during the demonstration, which reportedly became violent. They were released later due to their immunity as lawmakers, but both may still be charged with attacking police officers, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Fellow lawmakers have called for Zoabi’s removal from the Knesset. The parliament’s Ethics Committee censured Zoabi for participating in the May 2010 flotilla on the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which nine Turkish passengers were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos. Previous statements have spurred accusations of incitement against Israel and its military.

Zoabi in an interview with Al Jazeera television news called on Hamas to continue attacking Israel. She also reportedly said that Israel’s home front cannot stand a long conflict.

A Hamas spokesman reportedly called Zoabi a “Palestinian patriot worthy of the respect of our people.”

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, said he would use Zoabi’s statements in an effort to appeal to the Central Elections Committee to prevent her from being allowed to run in the next elections. Israel’s Supreme Court overturned such an order before the last elections, allowing Zoabi to become part of the current Knesset.

On Saturday night, thousands of Israeli Arabs protested in northern Israeli towns against the Gaza operation, including another rally in Haifa. It turned violent when Jewish right-wing activists reportedly held a counterdemonstration and attacked pro-Palestinian demonstrators waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans welcoming rocket fire on Tel Aviv.

 

Anti-Israel rioters torch cars, throw firebomb at Paris-area synagogue

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 13:09

PARIS (JTA) — Anti-Israel protesters hurled a firebomb at a synagogue during an unauthorized demonstration in a heavily Jewish suburb of Paris.

The riot broke out on Sunday afternoon in Sarcelles after a few hundred people assembled at a local metro station to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza, as well as the decision by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve to ban rallies against Israel following the staging of riots last week outside several synagogues in the Paris region.

The firebomb was hurled at the Synagogue of Garges-Les-Gonesse at a smaller rally that splintered off the main demonstration. It hit the building but did not cause serious damage, the daily online edition of Le Figaro reported.

In addition, rioters torched at least two cars as they clashed with police near the synagogue.

Organizers of the protest rally at the metro station urged the crowd not to resort to violence, but a few dozen demonstrators confronted police as others were leaving the demonstration, the online edition of the Le Nouvel Observateur weekly reported. Police fired tear gas at the demonstrators and surrounded a synagogue nearby, blocking the entire street.

Approximately 30 young Jewish men were standing at the synagogue entrance holding sticks; one was holding an Israeli flag. The French Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, said on Twitter that it was guarding the synagogue along with police.

Protesters also smashed the windshield of several parked cars and at least one shop.

Sarcelles has a large Sephardic Jewish population.

On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators protesting Israel’s military operation in Gaza confronted police in central Paris. Fourteen police officers were lightly wounded and 38 protesters were arrested.

Kashmir teen killed by Indian troops at protest of Israel’s Gaza op

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 12:57

(JTA) — Indian troops quelling a demonstration against Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip shot dead a Kashmiri teenager.

Suhail Ahmad Lone, 14, was killed Saturday in Khudwani, a village south of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, The Associated Press reported, citing a police officer. Witnesses said troops from the CRPF, the largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces, opened fire with bullets and tear gas, and used batons to disperse the demonstrators.

Police said the teen was throwing rocks at law enforcement personnel.

Law enforcement has opened an investigation into the teen’s death, according to the Xinhau news agency.

Hundreds participated in Lone’s funeral, during which they also protested the firing on demonstrations.

 

State Dept. official on using #UnitedForGaza hashtag: ‘My bad’

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 11:51

(JTA) — The U.S. under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs published and then removed a tweet with a hashtag in support of Gaza.

Rick Stengel used the hashtag #UnitedForGaza in a tweet published late Saturday night calling for an international investigation into the crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight earlier this week in eastern Ukraine.

Hours later, on Sunday, Stengel removed the tweet and replaced it with a similar tweet using the hashtag #unitedforukraine.

Stengel added a tweet that read, “Earlier tweet with wrong hashtag was a mistake. My bad.”

 

13 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza City battle

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 11:20

Israeli soldiers milling around the wounded from combat in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, July 20, 2014. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in a Gaza City neighborhood.

The soldiers from the Golani Brigade were killed since late Saturday night in Shujaiya, the Israel Defense Forces announced Sunday evening, bringing the death toll of Israeli soldiers since the launch late last week of the Gaza ground operation to 18.

In Shujaiya, seven of the soldiers died when their armored personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank missile. One was an American citizen, Max Steinberg, a Los Angeles native who joined the Israel Defense Forces in 2012,  according to the Jewish Journal. He lived in Beersheba.

Palestinian reports put the number of Gazans dead in the fighting in the area at more than 60. At least 360 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge 13 days ago.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview on the NBC news show “Meet the Press” defended Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza.

“I don’t think any nation in the world would sit there while rockets are bombarding it, and you know that there are tunnels from which terrorists have come … in an obvious effort to try to kidnap people, then hold them for ransom,” Kerry told host David Gregory.

“The fact is, that is unacceptable by any standard, anywhere in the world. And Israel has every right in the world to defend itself.”

Kerry said he was hopeful that a cease-fire could be put into place, but added that “you cannot reward terrorism.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday morning that Israel is taking “whatever action is necessary to stop this insane situation.”

“They’re not only targeting our cities, they’re deliberately firing thousands of rockets,” he said. “They have already fired 2,000 rockets in the last few days on our cities.”

Netanyahu said he is “sad” for every civilian casualty.

“They’re not intended. This is the difference between us,” the Israeli leader said. “The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead the better.”

Argentine boxer Carolina Duer defends bantamweight crown

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 07:34

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Carolina Raquel Duer of Argentina defended her World Boxing Organization bantamweight title for the second time.

Duer, popularly known as “The Turk,” defeated Ana Maria Lozano of Venezuela by unanimous decision on Friday night in Lanus, a city in Buenos Aires Province, to take the crown in the 115- to 118-pound class. After the 10 rounds, two judges scored the bout 98-92, and one had it 97-93.

The Jewish boxer raised her professional record to 17-3.

Duer, 35, was the WBO super flyweight champion, for fighters weighing 112 pounds to 115 pounds — a title she defended six times. She is the first Jewish woman to hold a WBO crown.

The country’s National Public Television covered the fight live and broadcast it free under a federal program designed to make satellite television more accessible, including in high definition.

Duer this year began to announce boxing on National Public Television, and she will be in Las Vegas on Sept.  13 as the special commentator for Argentine TV at the rematch between American boxer Floyd Mayweather and the Argentine Marcos Maidana.

Duer, a favorite in Argentina, is the daughter of Syrian immigrants. She attended the Jaim Najman Bialik Primary School in Buenos Aires and spent more than a month in Israel in her younger years working on a kibbutz and touring the country.

 

French PM: All of France must combat anti-Semitism

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 07:12

PARIS (JTA) — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the fight against anti-Semitism a “national cause.”

Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of Jews ahead of their deportation from Paris in 1942 to Nazi death camps, Valls condemned recent anti-Semitic incidents and violence that occurred during protests in France against Israel.

“What happened yesterday in Paris, these unacceptable disruptions, justify even more forcefully the decision that the interior minister courageously took to forbid the demonstration,” Valls said in reference to clashes Saturday between anti-Israeli protesters and police in which 15 officers were lightly injured and 38 protesters were arrested. “France will not allow provocateurs to nourish conflicts between its communities.”

The ban was imposed last week after anti-Israel protesters besieged a Paris synagogue, where they confronted young Jews until police arrived at the scene. France has seen several attacks against synagogues since Israel launched its operation against Hamas in Gaza nearly two weeks ago.

“I call on all elements of our society to combat anti-Semitism: Yes, it is a national cause,” Valls said in an apparent reaction to a request made in March by the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish communities that France declare the fight against anti-Semitism a national cause.

“Traditional anti-Semitism, this old disease of Europe,” Valls said, “is joined by a new anti-Semitism that cannot be denied or concealed, that we must face. It happens on the social networks and in workers’ neighborhoods, among ignorant young men who hide their hatred of Jews behind a facade of anti-Zionism or hatred of the State of Israel.”

Since 1977, French prime ministers have designated one cause each year to receive free publicity on state media. This year, the prime minister’s office designated the fight against illiteracy as the national cause.

Jewish mother and daughter killed in Ukraine shelling

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 06:01

(JTA) — A Jewish mother and daughter were killed in a shelling in the embattled eastern Ukraine city of Lugansk.

The victims of Friday’s explosion were identified on the website of the Lugansk Jewish community as Svetlana and Anna Sitnikov.

Svetlana Sitnikov, 57, and her daughter Anna Sitnikov, 31, were going to buy shoes, according to Zelig Brez, a leader of the Jewish Community of Dnepropetrovsk. They were to take along Anna’s 4-year-old son, Vadim, but at the last moment his grandfather took the boy. Five minutes later came the explosion, Brez said.

“They were among the most active members of the community,” he said.

Rabbi Shalom Gopin, Chabad’s emissary to Lugansk, was trying to bring the deceased to burial but was waiting on authorization from city officials, the news site ch10.co.il reported Sunday. Gopin was not immediately available for comment.

Lugansk is among a number of cities in eastern Ukraine where the government is fighting pro-Russian separatists who took up arms after the ousting in late February of President Viktor Yanukovych in a revolution that erupted several months earlier over his alleged corruption and close ties with the Kremlin in Russia.

Since fighting erupted, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Community of Dnepropetrovsk have helped more than 650 flee battle zones in eastern Ukraine, settling them in community institutions or providing alternative housing solutions in addition to food, medicine and counseling to help children cope with trauma.

Israel agrees to temporary truce in heavily hit Gaza neighborhood

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 05:53

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel agreed to a two-hour humanitarian truce in a Gaza City neighborhood where dozens of Gazans reportedly have been killed in heavy fighting.

The Red Cross on Sunday requested the cease-fire in the Shujaiya neighborhood, where at least 40 Gazans are reported dead, according to the Israeli media, citing Palestinian sources. The truce was later extended an hour.

Hamas reportedly made the request through the Red Cross in order to evacuate the dead and injured. The truce began at 1:30 p.m.

Any attempt to violate the cease-fire “will not be tolerated,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. Later, however, the IDF said rocket fire on Israel continued from the area during that period.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter that it ordered civilians in the neighborhood “days ago” to evacuate for their own safety.

“Hamas ordered them to stay. Hamas put them in the line of fire,” he said.

On Sunday, Israel again called on the neighborhood’s residents to evacuate, with instructions to move west and cross the Salah ad-Din road to Gaza City.

 

 

Two more Israeli soldiers killed as ground war expands

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 05:39

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two more Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza, bringing the number of soldier fatalities to five.

Lt. Bar Rahav, 21, a combat engineer, and Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20, an infantry combatant, were killed Saturday night. Rahav’s vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile and Rubel died in a battle.

The ground phase of Operation Protective Edge was expanded that night, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement, a day after the IDF said it uncovered and demolished 34 tunnel shafts and about a dozen tunnels intended to be used to carry out terror attacks inside Israel.

Fifty-one injured Israeli soldiers are in hospitals, seven in serious condition, Israel Radio reported Sunday morning.

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge nearly two weeks ago, the IDF said it has struck 2,570 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, and 500 since the start of the ground offensive started late last week. More than 1,770 rockets have been launched from Gaza at Israel, with 360 rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the IDF said.

Also Saturday, five trucks of humanitarian aid were transferred into the Gaza Strip, according to Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories. The trucks were carrying about 20 tons of medical supplies, including antibiotics, intravenous fluids, first-aid kits and blankets.

On Sunday, the IDF announced that it would open a field hospital for injured Gazans on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing.