Death Toll Hits 330 As Israel Uncovers 13 Tunnels, Faces "Suicide Donkeys"

With large anti-Israel protests in London, Paris, Brussels, and Madrid, the social media PR blitzkrieg continues between the IDF and Hamas. Palestinian officials claim over 100 civilian deaths in the last 48 hours (and over 330 since Operation Protective Edge began). Israel continues to reference the ongoing bombardment of rockets from Gaza (militants in Gaza have launched 1,663 rockets...The IDF has struck "2,300 terror targets" in Gaza). As LA Times reports, fighting continued above and below ground Saturday as Israeli soldiers have located dozens of shafts dug under homes and green houses leading to 13 tunnels. CNN reports local witnesses saying very 30 seconds to a minute a shell comes down in or around Beit Lahya. Perhaps most fascinating is The IDF claims that their forces have been attacked by explosive-laden "suicide donkeys."


Anti-Israel protests are spreading...

As the violence and death count rises...

Israel’s military continued to pound the Gaza Strip with heavy shelling on Saturday, calling on more civilians to leave their homes on the second day of its expanding ground operation against rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels while top diplomats were set to converge on the region to pursue a cease-fire.


Aircraft and artillery fire struck rocket-launchers, cars and houses throughout the coastal enclave. One strike killed five family members in their Beit Hanoun home, pushing the death toll above 330, according to Palestinian officials.


Fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas and other militants continued above and below ground Saturday. Overnight, around 20 militants were killed after engaging forces with gunfire and grenades as Israeli soldiers continued to comb Gaza for tunnels that Israel views as a strategic threat.


The Israeli military has reportedly located dozens of shafts dug under homes and green houses leading to 13 tunnels and intends to blow them up in coming days. At least three Israeli soldiers were injured Thursday in a battle with heavily armed militants who used one such tunnel to enter Israel from the central Gaza Strip with plans to attack a nearby community, a military official said.

The strikes so far... (via CNN)

Since Operation Protective Edge began, militants in Gaza have launched 1,663 rockets, the IDF said in a statement Saturday. Israeli rocket defense system Iron Dome has intercepted 346 of them.


The IDF has struck "2,300 terror targets" in Gaza, the statement said. In its recently launched ground operations, the IDF targeted 95 rocket launching sites and 13 tunnels.

CNN offers some local perspective...

In his Gaza home, Ramez al-Madhoun listens Saturday to the thunder of Israeli tank shells battering the neighborhood -- some a little less than a mile away, some closer.


A few miles south of him, Gazan militants' rockets stream into the sky -- about seven in 15 minutes -- toward Israel.


The tanks are gunning for tunnels leading into Israel and the Gazan attack squads that use them.


Al-Madhoun says he feels safer during Israeli airstrikes.


"If it was an airstrike, it would be more of a precision strike, but the tanks shells are more dangerous, they are destroying more than the airstrikes," he says.


Every 30 seconds to a minute a shell comes down in or around Beit Lahya. The local imam has told residents to stay home and pray, because the shelling has made it to dangerous to go outside, al-Madhoun says.

Hamas is using alternate tactics...

According to the IDF, ground forces operating in Gaza Strip were attacked by an explosives-laden donkey


The latest such incident happened on Friday in the Rafah area, the IDF reported Saturday. 


A donkey suspiciously began to approach forces. The Forces Engaged the Donkey and it Exploded at A Safe Distance, whereas no Injuries Were Sustained by the IDF as A result, " the Israeli Report Said.


"Sending an animal to ITS Death to serve Terrorist Purposes May SEEM Shocking, but Certainly Last night was not the first time Palestinian Terrorists Adopted this despicable Tactic," the IDF Said. 


Israel is urging civilians to evacuate...


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Which leaves just one question... Do the donkeys go to heaven with 72 virgins?