Hamas Says It Captured IDF Soldier On Gaza's Bloodiest Day
In the most violent day for the Israeli-Gaza conflict so far 87 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed and 1 Israeli soldier was captured.By Ben Lawson | July 20, 2014
Sunday was the bloodiest day in Gaza so far with 87 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers dead. Now, Hamas claims are surfacing that an Israeli soldier has been captured.
Sunday's conflict took place mostly in Shijaiyah, a densely populated neighborhood in Gaza City. (Via NBC)
USA Today quotes one resident saying: "What happened in Shijaiyah quarter was madness. ... Me and my family cannot believe that we made it out alive due to the heavy random tank shelling that lasted for over 12 hours. ... It's a horrific massacre."
As for the reported capture of an Israeli soldier, a Hamas spokesman made the announcement on a local television station, citing the soldier's name and military number. (Via Ma'an News Agency)
The Israel Defense Forces told The Algemeiner it couldn't say whether the claims are true, but said the chances are slim.
Israel's ground operation began Thursday when the IDF sought to destroy Hamas's underground tunnel system that reaches into Israeli territory. It's since escalated from there. (Via Israel Defense Forces)
Haaretz quotes IDF officers saying they are "taking off the gloves" and "It's not an operation now, it's a war."
20 Israeli's have been killed in the conflict with Gaza so far. That number is dwarfed by the more than 400 Palestinian casualties, most of which have been civilians. (Via ABC)
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming Hamas for the Palestinian death toll: "They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want - the more dead the better." (Via CNN)
Calls for a cease-fire have been flooding in from the international community, but haven't proven effective so far.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sunday, but Abbas has limited influence in Hamas-controlled Gaza. (Via Getty Images)
President Obama is also sending U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Israel to push for a cease-fire. (Via Getty Images)
The International Committee of the Red Cross did manage to broker a two hour cease-fire for the besieged neighborhood Sunday which allowed a convoy of ambulances to enter the area, but that truce collapsed before the two hours were up. (Via First Post)
One Palestinian reporter says the only real long-term solution is the two-state one. "The creation of an independent state in Palestine is absolutely necessary for Israelis and Palestinians to move, not only from violence to cease-fire, but to a phase of natural neighborly relations." (Via The Jerusalem Post)
That's the solution endorsed by most of the international community, but that's obviously easier said than done. Moving forward, the U.N. Security Council is set to hold an overnight session on the Gaza conflict.