Israel Military Ordered To Continue Operation In Gaza; U.S. Approves Weapons Transfer

  • Israeli tank fire
    MIDEAST-GAZA/MORTAR RTR40FSV 28 Jul. 2014 Gaza Border, Israel An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. Palestinian fighters slipped into an Israeli village from the Gaza Strip and fought a gun battle with troops on Monday as an unofficial truce called for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival disintegrated. The incident was not the only breach of the fragile truce. Eight children and two adults were killed by a blast at a park in northern Gaza and four Israelis were reported to have been killed by cross-border Palestinian mortar fire. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
  • Israel Gaza conflict
    An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. Palestinian fighters slipped into an Israeli village from the Gaza Strip and fought a gun battle with troops on Monday as an unofficial truce called for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival disintegrated. The incident was not the only breach of the fragile truce. Eight children and two adults were killed by a blast at a park in northern Gaza and four Israelis were reported to have been killed by cross-border Palestinian mortar fire. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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With a death toll now at more than 1,300 Palestinians as well as 56 Israeli soldiers, the Israeli government has ordered its military to continue combat in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the United States has reportedly approved the transfer of new weapons.

The decision to continue "Operation Protective Edge" came after a five-hour Security Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, CNN learned that the Pentagon approved giving the IDF rocket launchers, grenades, and other weapons that the U.S. keeps stockpiled in Israel as part of the $1 billion War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel program.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a senior official said the IDF was to continue to “forcefully hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

"When a cease-fire proposal that answers Israel's important needs is laid on the table, it will be considered," a senior official told Haaretz. "The operation continues and the IDF will expand its attacks against Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations.”

The official added that the Israelis would continue short humanitarian cease-fires throughout the operation, “without endangering the lives of Israeli soldiers and the operation to destroy the tunnels. The purpose of these truces is to help the civilian population of Gaza.”

During the last of these humanitarian cease-fires, at least 17 people were killed when artillery hit a market in Shejaiya, where residents were taking advantage of the semi-pause in fighting to stock up on essentials. At least 77 Shejaiya residents have died in two attacks in the past 10 days.

Three IDF soldiers died during the brief four-hour truce, when they entered a tunnel filled with explosives and part of the structure collapsed. Hamas's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the "massacre" at Shejaiya.

Before the truce was called, the IDF said it would not stop attacks in places where troops were “currently operating.”

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