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Palestinians, who fled their homes in the northern border town of Beit Lahiya, ride a horse cart as they make their way to stay at a United Nations-run school, in the northern Gaza Strip July 14, 2014.
Concern over the worsening humanitarian situation prompted protests across the world over the weekend, with demonstrators taking to European capitals and Washington, among other cities, to demand an end to the bombardment. In France, gendarmes were deployed to protect a Parisian synagogue after a group tried to storm the building during a march in the capital.
Palestinians rallying in Jerusalem and the West Bank faced Israeli security forces, who shot and killed 22-year-old Munir Ahmad Badarin near Hebron early Monday, Palestinian news website Maan News reported. His was the first death in the West Bank since Israel’s latest offensive against Gaza began. Two other Palestinians were shot and wounded in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, according to local reports.
Over the weekend at least 36 people were arrested while demonstrating in Jerusalem and 23 in the West Bank, according to Israeli news website Haaretz.
The protests come a week after the current offensive began. In that time more than 800 homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged in the shelling.
Thousands of residents have fled their homes in advance of more airstrikes and a possible ground incursion.
On Monday along the Israel-Gaza border, there was no indication that such a troop offensive was about to be immediately launched — though tanks and encampments could be seen preparing should the order come. At least 36,000 Israeli reservists have been called up to report for duty.
More than 1,000 people have been injured since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge one week ago. Erik Fossa, a Swedish heart surgeon working in Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital said that he worries that a ground war, especially a prolonged one, would overwhelm the hospital and that it would run out of equipment to treat patients. Medical supplies are already relatively scarce in the territory in part because of a seven-year blockade.
Every room at Al-Shifa is full of emergency patients who were injured in Israeli strikes over the past week. Fossa said that patients with chronic illnesses such as cancer are being pushed out to make room for more pressing injuries.
Two Gazans were killed in overnight strikes and 60 injured, it was reported Monday. But the aerial assault was not as severe as previous nights. Israeli warplanes and naval gunboats struck over 200 targets overnight, while armed groups in Gaza fired about 20 rockets into Israel.
Haaretz quoted Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon as saying on Monday that Israel “is continuing to pound Hamas and its infrastructure. The damage to Hamas and to other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip is severe … When Hamas leaders come out of their hiding places, they will discover the extent of the destruction and damage we have caused.”
Hamas said that it sent a drone more than 37 miles into Israel to carry out “special missions.” According to an Israel Defense Forces statement, Israel shot down the drone with a U.S.-built Patriot missile as it flew along the Ashdod coastline. Shrapnel from a rocket fired at Ashdod lightly wounded an 8-year-old Israeli boy, Israeli media reported.
With the crisis showing few signs of abating, international diplomatic efforts to forge a cease-fire have begun.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday offered to help secure a truce between Israel and Gaza, and U.S. and Egyptian officials subsequently indicated on Monday that he was planning a trip to the region in the hopes of securing a 48-hour pause in hostilities.
Meanwhile, Egyptian media reported on Monday that Egypt had established the framework for a cease-fire agreement. An Israeli official told Reuters that Israel's security cabinet would meet Tuesday to discuss it.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the second-most-powerful Gaza faction, said they would not accept “calm for calm.” “Netanyahu began this crazy war, and he must end his war first,” Hamas leader Izzat al-Reshiq told Al-Arabiya television. “There can be no cease fire unless the conditions of the resistance are met.”
Conditions include Israel¦s ending its siege of Gaza — which it maintains through a land, sea and air blockade on the occupied territory — and freeing hundreds of Palestinians it arrested in the West Bank last month during a crackdown on Hamas.
Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that he would not bow to international pressure and order an end to the bombardment.
Existing tensions between the two sides escalated last month after the disappearance of three Israeli settler teens. Israel blamed Hamas for the abduction — a claim Hamas has denied.
But in a subsequent crackdown, hundreds of its members were rounded up and at least six Palestinians killed during Israeli military raids.
After the boys’ bodies were found, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager, was kidnapped and apparently burned alive in a suspected revenge attack. Three Israelis have reportedly confessed to the crime, and on Monday, Israel said it was preparing to file formal charges against them.
Mickey Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said the suspects include a 29-year-old and two 17-year-olds who have admitted to abducting and killing Abu Khdeir, who was 16 at the time of his death, the New York Times reported. Rosenfeld said the three Israelis will be charged on Friday with kidnapping and premeditated murder.
With wire services and additional reporting by Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith and John Hendren
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