Volunteer Delivering Food to Israeli Troops Killed by Gaza-Fired Mortar
A civilian volunteer delivering food to Israeli troops at a Gaza border crossing has been killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell fired from Gaza as the conflict there continues despite cease-fire efforts.
The Jerusalem Post reports the victim, 37-year-old Dror Chanin, had volunteered to deliver food to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops massed for a possible land invasion of Gaza at the Erez Crossing, at the northern end of besieged strip.
At around the same time, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted and destroyed at least two rockets fired at Tel Aviv by Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza. Iron Dome also destroyed a rocket headed for Askhelon, and Israeli media also report rockets fired at the Dimona nuclear reactor.
Tuesday began with Israel accepting —and Hamas rejecting —an Egyptian-initiated ceasefire plan aimed at ending more than a week of war between Israel and Palestinian resistance fighters led by Hamas. At least 193 people have been killed so far, all but one of them Palestinians in Gaza.
According to the United Nations, nearly four out of five of the dead in Gaza are civilians. At least three dozen children have been killed. The youngest victim, 18-month-old Mohammed Malakiyeh, was killed along with his 27-year-old mother. The three oldest victims were 80 years old.
The deadliest single Israeli strike so far killed 18 members of the al-Batsh family, including five people aged 18 or younger.
The militant Palestinian resistance group Hamas, the democratically elected leaders of Gaza, rejected the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire effort as “not worth the ink it was written on,” Al Jazeera reports. Hamas claims it had not been consulted as the details of the plan were hammered out.
“Our battle with the enemy will continue and will increase in ferocity and intensity,” said a statement from the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing.
Israel, which had accepted the ceasefire terms, then resumed its bombing campaign against Gaza.
“If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease, we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation,” vowed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, eerily echoing Hamas’ threat.