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On Sunday, 13 soldiers of the Golani elite unit were killed; on Monday, nine servicemen died in clashes in different parts of the Gaza Strip. In the first days of the ground phase of the Protective Edge operation, five soldiers and officers were killed in Gaza. Since the beginning of the air phase July 8, two civilians died as a result of missile strikes on the territory of Israel.
Thus, the overall losses of Israel after 15 days since the military campaign started make 29 people including two civilians. More than a hundred people were injured.
Over the night, the Israeli army delivered more than 100 strikes on targets in Shujaya located in the central part of the city of Gaza.
An Israeli received severe injuries from an automatic gun on the Western Bank of Jordan. Several hours earlier, a Palestinian was killed in clashes near an Israeli checkpoint on a crossroads on the Western Bank. According to Israel Defense Forces, masked Palestinians were throwing burning tires and stones at Israeli soldiers. The servicemen attempted to arrest one of them, but he resisted and was shot dead.
The leader of the Hamas Islamic movement in the Palestinian enclave, ex-prime minister Ismail Haniyeh stated earlier that the Palestinian people “is fighting in Gaza for ending the Israeli blockade that lasts for eight years”. “It’s time to put an end to occupation and blockade, and the Palestinians will not spare their lives for that aim. We are a nation and have the right for a decent life on our land,” he stated.
Haniyeh repeated the main conditions of Hamas for reaching a truce: “The aggression should be stopped, and international guarantees should be given that it will not repeat; the blockade should be completely lifted, and all border passes should be opened, and arrested activists should be freed”.
July 20, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the Protective Edge operation “will continue until peace returns to the cities of Israel”. The prime minister noted that Israel has no plans of “new occupation of the Gaza Strip”. “No one wants a too long military operation,” Netanyahu went on saying, and noted that the Protective Edge campaign “is advancing quite quickly”.
The proclaimed aim of the current ground operation in the Gaza Strip is the destruction of underground tunnels of the terrorists. However, the main aim of Israel is the destruction of Hamas’ infrastructure and stopping the missile attacks on Israeli populated localities.