On the 17th day of Israel’s operation in Gaza efforts to achieve a ceasefire have intensified, as the international community continues to condemn Israel’s use of force. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, presently in Cairo, said ceasefire talks have made some progress.
Brazil recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest of what it called “disproportionate use of force by Israel.” Brazil’s decision follows Ecuador’s move to recall its envoy to Israel yesterday.
As diplomatic efforts intensified, the death toll in Gaza surpassed 700 to reach at least 734. Maan reported that 37 people were killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza Thursday morning, 10 of them members of one family.
A total of 150 Palestinian militants were arrested in the Gazan cities of Rafah and Khan Younis overnight Wednesday. Half the detainees were released, while the rest were transferred to Israel for interrogation.
After a night in which only one rocket was fire from Gaza into Israel, rocket sirens were heard throughout central Israel Thursday morning, including Tel Aviv.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. airlines flying in and out of Israel after the Israelis gave security assurances. El Al reported a 150% fare increase after many European airlines cancelled service to Tel Aviv.