LIVE BLOG: Operation Pillar of Defense - Response to Terror Attacks

Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 by Marina Rozhansky

LIVE BLOG: Operation Pillar of Defense - Response to Terror Attacks

Tuesday, November 20, 2012:

6:40 AM: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 100 terror sites, including underground rocket launchers, terror tunnels and ammunition storage facilities. The IDF has targeted several buildings that were used by terror operatives as command and control centers, as well as approximately ten terror tunnels that were used as hideouts by Hamas operatives. A financial institution used by Hamas to fuel its terror activity was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip.

Additionally, since midnight, three rockets hit Israel and an additional two were intercepted by the Iron Dome System.

Monday, November 19, 2012:

12:00 AM: Overall, 664 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel since the start of the operation, with an additional 347 intercepted by the Iron Dome system. More than 100 rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists organisations in the Gaza Strip aimed at Israel hit the Gaza Strip.



11:20 PM: Over the course of the day, the IDF caused severe damage to dozens of targets, including underground rocket launchers, a training facility, ammunition storage facilities, Hamas police stations and several terrorist squads that were responsible for firing rockets at Israel.

Also, a vehicle that was used for transporting rockets that belong to Hamas was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip, and a direct hit identified. In the southern Gaza Strip, over 50 smuggling tunnels were targeted.

9:50 PM: Since midnight, 67 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel while 42 more rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome System. The IDF has precisely hit 80 more targets.

5:00 PM:  IDF targets cadre of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives who were hiding in a media building in Gaza. The operatives were responsible for many rockets fired at Israel and terror attack against Israelis.

The terrorists that were targeted:

  1. Baha Abu al-Ata, a member of the Higher Military Council, is the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Gaza City Brigade and is involved in orchestrating rocket launching and terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Al-Ata is also involved in the manufacturing of arms and firing long-range rockets at Israel.
  2. Tissir Mahmoud Mahmedd Jabari was born in 1972 and is a resident of Sajaiya Turkman, Gaza City. Jabari is a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, a member of the Higher Military Council and Head of the organization’s operation branch. Previously, Jabari was the Gaza City Regional Commander for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was involved in carrying out various terror attacks against Israel, including massive rocket fire and attacks against IDF soldiers. Jabari holds responsibility for training within the organization and gives approval for the carrying out of terror attacks.
  3. Halil Batini is amongst the senior operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He is a key figure within the long-range rocket launching operations and responsible for internal security.
  4. Ramaz Harab, born in 1976, resident of Shujaiyya Jadida, responsible for the propaganda in the Gaza City brigade, an aide to Tissir Jabari, formerly head of the Sheikh Rajuan Division.
1:00 PM: Another rocket fired from Gaza hits a house in Ashkelon.

11:00 AM: Rocket fired from Gaza hits school in Askhelon. Luckily, school was canceled for the day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012:

12:00 AM: Overall, 544 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel since the start of the operation, with an additional 290 intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The IDF targeted over 1,000 terror sites.



13:00 PM: IDF coordinated 124 trucks of goods and gas into the Gaza Strip.

11:30 PM: Rocket intercepted by Iron Dome system above Tel Aviv. Approximately an hour later, the IDF targeted the site in Gaza from where the rocket was fired.

6:50 AM: The IDF targeted two communications centers being used by Hamas operatives for tactical purposes, one at 01:50 AM and one that 06:50. The strikes were pinpointed and hit two antennae situated on roofs of media buildings. See the footage of the strikes.

4:00 AM: Early in the morning of Nov 18, the IDF targeted a rocket launching site located in the front yard of a mosque. The strike was executed with surgical percision, taking care not to damage the mosque. See the footage here.

Children sleeping in a bomb shelter in AshkelonChildren sleeping in a bomb shelter in Ashkelon. November 18, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

12:00 AM: Overall, more than 500 rockets hit Israel since the start of the operation, while the Iron Dome system intercepted 245 rockets. Over 1,000 terror sites were targeted in the Gaza Strip.



8:02 PM: Over the past three days, 492 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel while another 245 were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The IDF targeted approximately 900 terror sites in the Gaza Strip so far.

4:32 PM: A rocket siren is heard in Tel Aviv. The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome battery deployed at the area the same day.

2:53 PM: Four rockets fired from Gaza struck Ashdod. Direct hits were registered on a house and a car, while the other two rockets landed near a kindergarten and in an open area, respectively.

10:49 AM: Fifth Iron Dome battery is now deployed in the greater Tel Aviv area. Since November 14, Iron Dome has registered a 90% success rate.

10:35 AM: Three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in a rocket attack in southern Israel.

5:55 AM: Overnight, the IDF has targeted 185 more terror sites.

4:30 AM: With the Fajr-5 rocket, Hamas’ rockets now threaten over 3.5 million citizens in Israel, including Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

Hamas Rocket Threat Ranges MapHamas Rocket Threat Ranges Map

Friday, November 16, 2012

12:00 AM: Overall today, 119 rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel, while an additional 99 rockets were successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The IDF has targeted over 600 terror sites in Gaza.



11:25 PM: This morning, the IDF has sent text messages to an approximate number of 12,000 residents of the Gaza Strip warning them to stay away from Hamas operatives.

Additionally, over the past few hours, the IDF targeted two senior Hamas operatives, including Muhammad Abu-Jalal, a Hamas company commander in the Central Gaza Strip, as well as Khaled Shah’yer, a senior operative involved in the rocket array.

Nine more rockets hit southern Israel, bringing the count to 396 rockets since the start of the operation.

10:00 PM: 97 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel today, bringing the overall amount to 388 since the start of the operation. The Iron Dome system has shot down 99 rockets since this morning, bringing its total to 197. Since the start of the operation, the IDF has attacked over 600 targets in the Strip.

3:35 PM: A glimpse of life in southern Israel – A rocket fired from Gaza struck a family’s backyard earlier today.

Rocket impact siteA rocket fired from Gaza struck a family’s yard in southern Israel.

3:00 PM: More than 66 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel today — and 340 rockets have hit since Operation Pillar of Defense began. The Iron Dome has intercepted 99 rockets so far today.

1:20 PM Rocket sirens were heard in Tel Aviv. No rocket hit the city.

07:30 AM: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 150 medium range rocket launching sites as well as ammunition storage facilities across the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to terror infrastructures. As a result, rocket fire at Israel overnight was significantly decreased, with only a few hits landing in open areas.

In this video, the IDF targets underground rocket launchers in Gaza. The secondary explosions show that hidden explosives were hit.



Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Air Force has targeted over 450 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a central terror activity site in the southern Gaza strip in order to harm the command and control posts of the Hamas terror organization.

The Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has successfully intercepted over 130 rockets that launched from Gaza, aimed at Israel.

Over the past few days, over 300 rockets were fired at Israeli communities — contrary to an earlier erroneous update which misstated this fact. One rocket hit the central Israeli city Rishon Lezion, located approximately 60 km from the Gaza Strip.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

12:00 AM: Overall, on this day 212 rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel, while an additional 103 rockets were successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system. In addition, three Israeli civilians were killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit their home in the town of Kiryat Malakhi.

11:35 PM: Over the past 24 hours, the IDF continued with Operation Pillar of Defense, targeting dozens of rocket launching sites, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.

Since the start of the operation the Israeli Air Force has targeted 300 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip.

Over the past few days, over 200 rockets were fired at Israeli communities. One rocket hit the central Israeli city Rishon Lezion, located approximately 60 km from the Gaza Strip.

Additionally, three Israelis were killed when a rocket hit their house.

The Iron Dome Missile Defense System has successfully intercepted over 130 rockets launched from Gaza, aimed at Israel.

10:00 PM: During the past hour, during a rapid and coordinated military strike, the IDF targeted approximately 70 underground medium range (up to 40 km) rocket launching sites in the Gaza Strip.

7:00 PM: A few minutes ago, sirens in Tel Aviv sent residents running for shelter. We can confirm that no rockets struck in the area.

5:15 PM: A short while ago, a rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area near Rishon LeZion, a city with more than 200,000 people.

4:30 PM: So far today the IDF has targeted more than 100 rocket launching sites in Gaza, severely damaging the capabilities of Palestinian terrorist organizations. More than 200 sites have been targeted since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

11:50 AM: A short while ago, the IDF targeted a rocket warehouse in Gaza.



11:10 AM: Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 156 terror sites in the Gaza Strip

9:17 AM: Three Israeli civilians were killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit their home in the town of Kiryat Malakhi. 

8:58 AM: Rocket from Gaza hits a house in southern Israel. 133 rockets fired from Gaza during the last 24 hours.

8:32 AM: Since midnight, the Iron Dome has intercepted 13 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel.

7:23 AM: This morning, the IDF dispersed leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip, warning local residents to stay away from Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

The contents of the leaflet:

“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip:

For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.

Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region.

Israel Defense Forces Command.”

 

Warning leaflet dispersed over the Gaza StripWarning leaflet dispersed over the Gaza Strip

7:18 AM: Overnight, approximately 100 medium and long range rocket launch and infrastructure sites across the Gaza Strip were targeted. The aim of this targeting is to impair the rocket launching capability of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip such as Hamas, and damage their future build up. Furthermore, IAF aircraft targeted several rocket launching squads while these were preparing to fire rockets into Israel, and tank shells were used to target several terror activity sites.

5:30 AM: So far today an additional seven rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel. Since the beginning of the operation, 54 rockets struck southern Israel — overall, 822 rockets in 2012. The Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 28 rockets, while IDF forces have struck 105 terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

4:30 AM: Since the beginning of the operation, the IDF has struck approximately 100 terror targets, with the combined forces of the Israeli Air Force and Navy. So far the Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 28 rockets.

Car destroyed by rocket fire in Beer Sheva, IsraelCar destroyed by rocket fire in Beer Sheva, Israel

12:30 AM: Iron Dome has intercepted 27 rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas continues to target Israeli civilians.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

12:00 AM: Overall, 47 rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel, while an additional 27 rockets were successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

10:50 PM: Over the past few hours, the IDF has targeted dozens of Hamas’ medium range (up to 40km ) underground rocket launching sites and other weapons storage facilities.

10:00 PM: As of this time, the Iron Dome has intercepted 17 rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas continues to try to attack Israeli civilians.

9:55 PM: The IDF publishes an aerial photo of a long-range rocket launch site in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza, meters away from a mosque and playground.

Fajr-5 Long-Range Rocket Launch Site

9:30 PM: The IDF publishes an aerial video of a long-range Fajr-5 rocket in Gaza.



8:35 PM: The Iron Dome has intercepted 13 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

8:30 PM: The Israeli Navy has struck terror sites in the Gaza Strip.

7:15 PM: The IDF publishes video of its pinpoint strike on Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing in Gaza.



5:35 PM: The IDF has seriously damaged Hamas’ long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) & underground weapons storage facilities.

4:30 PM:  In the past hour, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing, in the Gaza Strip. Jabri was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas’ command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against Israel in the past.

November 18, 2012


Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted dozens of underground rocket launchers, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations.

The IDF targeted Hamas' operational communication infrastructures in the northern Gaza Strip, which are used for issuing orders to operatives as well as the spreading of propaganda, as well as Saraya, a Hamas primary training base and command center.


IDF pinpoint strike on Hamas operational communications infrastructure 



Israel Air Force conducts a successful pinpoint strike on a rocket launching site 
hidden next to a mosque without damaging the mosque.

Despite continued rocket fire over Israel, the Kerem Shalom crossing was reopened on Sunday, November 18, to allow the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza: 124 trucks of goods entered the Gaza Strip carrying medical supplies, food, milk, and gas.

Following the launch of Israel's operation Pillar of Defense against terrorist targets in Gaza, rocket fire from Gaza  resumed on Wednesday evening (14 Nov), with a salvo of over 50 Grad rockets fired towards Israel's southern cities.



Kiryat Malachi, Nov 15, 2012 (Photo: GPO/Moshe Milner)

More than 820 rockets have been fired at Israel since Saturday (10 Nov) of which 700 were fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense (14 Nov), landing in the south and in the greater Tel Aviv area, killing three people in Kiryat Malachi: Mirah Scharf, 25, Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24. The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted over 200 additional rockets, preventing them from striking populated areas in Israel.



  • Three Israeli civilians killed, 2 severely injured, 3 moderately and more than 60 lightly injured. In addition, six IDF soldiers were injured.
  • 25 Israelis were extracted from a collapsed building
  • Homes, factory, a school and a cowshed sustained direct hits.
  • Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion and Jerusalem were targeted for the first time by Hamas, but not hit.
  • Schools within 40km of Gaza remained closed
  • Gatherings (weddings, etc.) were limited to less than 100 people
Rocket and mortar attacks: 2001-2012


Click to enlarge - Source: IDF



Rocket range from Gaza. 
Click to download printable version (PDF) 




 



 





 

On Thursday morning (Nov 15) three people were killed when a rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi: Mirah Scharf, 25,Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24. 




The apartment, on the top floor of the building, suffered a direct hit, with shrapnel throughout the rooms.

 


Israelis run for cover as a siren warns of incoming rockets in Kiryat Malachi, where three were killed (Photo: Reuters)


Remains of a car hit by a rocket in Beersheba (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)



Israelis prepare to sleep in a bomb shelter in the southern town of Netivot (Photo: Reuters)



* * *

Over 120 rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza from Saturday evening (Nov 10) until November 13, hitting Sderot, Ashdod, Netivot, and the Eshkol, Shaar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon councils. Several people suffered injuries on Sunday morning and many have been treated for panic. There has been extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. 

Throughout November 11 rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli continued and increased. In addition, rockets with longer ranges were fired and the damage incurred was greater. A total of 64 rockets hits were identified on November 11. A number of mortar shells were also fired. A number of Israeli civilians were wounded by the rocket fire, although not seriously; several were treated for shock and there was extensive property damage.

Rocket fire – Daily Distribution


A total of 121 rocket hits identified in Israeli territory during the current escalation. The number does not include mortar shells. Source: ITIC

  • On Saturday night (Nov 10) the Iron Dome defense system intercepted Grad rockets headed for Ashdod and Beersheba, but two homes later suffered direct hits (Nov 11).
  • On Monday morning a rocket exploded in the yard of a private home in Netivot causing extensive damage. Later a ceramics factory was hit.
  • On Monday evening (Nov 12) two rockets fired at the city of Ofakim were intercepted.
  • A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in Ashdod on Tuesday morning (Nov 13). 


House in Netivot damaged by a direct rocket hit (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)



The current crisis began on Saturday when an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza struck an IDF jeep
 near the Karni crossing wounding four soldiers, two seriously. An IDF force patrolling near the Karni crossing, inside Israel, sustained a direct hit by an anti-tank missile fired from a location east of the Gaza Strip neighborhoods of Zeitun and Sajaiya. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Two others were rushed to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon in moderate condition, suffering from shrapnel wounds. The IDF responded to the source of fire.

The IDF soldier who sustained critical head and eye injuries during Saturday's anti-tank missile attack on an IDF patrol jeep near the Gaza border remains hospitalized at the intensive care unit of the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, and his doctors say he may never see again.

The Home Front Command directed residents of communities near the Gaza Strip to remain within 15 seconds from protected areas and not to remain in open areas. Shortly after 9 pm the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted a rocket over the Israeli city of Ashdod. Another rocket fell in an open area near Ashdod.

Following the attack, the Defense Ministry ordered the temporary closing of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main checkpoint through which goods are delivered to Gaza Strip. "The IDF will not risk the lives of the crossing's employees, or the troops stationed there, despite the great importance of ensuring goods and humanitarian aid are delivered to Gaza."

PM Netanyahu (Nov 11): "The IDF is operating, and will operate, aggressively against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which are taking heavy blows from the IDF. The world needs to understand that Israel will not sit idly by in the face of attempts to attack us. We are prepared to intensify the response."


Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel - November 11, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Defense Minister Barak: "The firing has been relentless today. As far as Israel is concerned, Hamas is responsible for the rocket-fire and all other attempts to harm our soldiers and civilians [from Gaza], even when other groups participate. And it is Hamas that will pay the heavy price; a price that will be painful.

Israel will not accept in any shape or form Hamas' changing of the 'rules' along the border with the Gaza Strip. During the last two days, the IDF, upon my instruction, has been evaluating the host of options for harsher responses against Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza. We will strike with an ever-growing intensity."

In response to the rocket fire, IAF aircraft targeted a weapons manufacturing facility, two weapons storage facilities, and two rocket-launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a weapons storage facility and a terror activity site in the southern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed.

In recent weeks, a number of incidents have occurred in the southern Gaza Strip, including an attack using explosives against an IDF armored personnel carrier, wounding a company commander, and another attack with explosives. On Thursday, November 8, an IDF engineering force located a number of powerful explosive devices to the west of the fence. After the IDF disarmed charges found on the Gaza side of the border, and were repairing the border fence, explosives in an underground tunnel were detonated, causing a large explosion that exposed a tunnel roughly four meters deep and four meters wide, damaging a jeep and lightly injuring a soldier. UPDATED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 1925 - See below.

In response to the incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip the IDF has launched a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza.

More than 800 rockets have struck Israel since the beginning of the year, and more than 130 since Saturday. These rockets and missiles are launched indiscriminately at schools, homes, and other populated areas inside Israel, their sole purpose is to cause death and destruction.

The IDF has launched a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza. The operation, called Pillar of Defense, has two main goals: to protect Israeli civilians and to cripple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

At 16:30 (06:30 PST), the IDF targeted Ahmed al-Jabari, the head of Hamas military wing, in the Gaza Strip. Jabari was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against Israel.

In subsequent air strikes, the IDF seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) and underground weapons storage facilities.

Terrorists in Gaza fired at least 20 Grad rockets toward Beersheba. One of the rockets hit the city's center and caused damage to a vehicle and stores, but no injuries were reported.


Background

Jabari, 52, a resident of Gaza, was involved in military activity from the early 1980s and served until his death as the senior military commander of Hamas. In the past he was close to Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin and operated under his patronage. Jabari started his military career in Fatah and took part in a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. For these activities he was imprisoned in Israel for thirteen years, serving a sentence from 1982 until his release in January 1995.

Already in 1995 Jabari began to manage an association for the support and benefit of Hamas prisoners and up until today managed the Nur Association for the aid of released Hamas prisoners, which was under the auspices of Sheikh Yassin. In this role he managed a huge system of financial transfers to support Hamas inmates and their families and the families of killed terrorists.

While in prison, Jabari's views became more extreme. He joined the Hamas organization and served as the representative of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad prison inmates. His years in prison, his extreme views and his prison activities assured Jabari of a senior position in the Hamas leadership upon his release.

Since his release from prison, Jabari was involved in various activities and senior positions in the Hamas organization. He simultaneously served as the senior military commander, directed terrorist cells throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and was involved in arms smuggling, as well as fulfilling various organizational positions in the movement.

As part of the top military echelon, he was involved in promoting and implementing a series of major terror attacks. Read more about al-Jabri here.


Updates

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5:15 PM (7:15 AM PST):
A short while ago, a rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area near Rishon LeZion, a city with more than 200,000 people.

4:30 PM (6:30 AM PST):
So far today the IDF has targeted more than 100 rocket launching sites in Gaza, severely damaging the capabilities of Palestinian terrorist organizations. More than 200 sites have been targeted since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

11:50 AM (1:50 AM PST):
A short while ago, the IDF targeted a rocket warehouse in Gaza.

11:10 AM (1:10 AM PST):
Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 156 terror sites in the Gaza Strip

9:17 AM (11:17 PM PST):
Three Israeli civilian killed by rocket fired from Gaza. [Full Story]

8:58 AM (10:58 PM PST):
Rocket from Gaza hits a house in southern Israel. 133 rockets fired from Gaza during the last 24 hours.

8:32 AM (10:32 PM PST):
Since midnight, the Iron Dome has intercepted 13 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel.

7:23 AM (9:23 PM PST):
This morning, the IDF dispersed leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip, warning local residents to stay away from Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

The contents of the leaflet:

“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip:

For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.

Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region.

Israel Defense Forces Command.”

7:18 AM (9:18 PM PST): Overnight, approximately 100 medium and long range rocket launch and infrastructure sites across the Gaza Strip were targeted. The aim of this targeting is to impair the rocket launching capability of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip such as Hamas, and damage their future build up. Furthermore, IAF aircraft targeted several rocket launching squads while these were preparing to fire rockets into Israel, and tank shells were used to target several terror activity sites.

5:30 AM (7:30 PM PST):
So far today an additional seven rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel. Since the beginning of the operation, 54 rockets struck southern Israel — overall, 822 rockets in 2012. The Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 28 rockets, while IDF forces have struck 105 terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

4:30 AM (6:30 PM PST):
Since the beginning of the operation, the IDF has struck approximately 100 terror targets, with the combined forces of the Israeli Air Force and Navy. So far the Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 28 rockets.

12:30 AM (2:30 PM PST): 
Iron Dome has intercepted 27 rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas continues to target Israeli civilians.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

12:00 AM (2:00 PM PST):
Overall, 47 rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel, while an additional 27 rockets were successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

10:50 PM (12:50 PM PST): 
Over the past few hours, the IDF has targeted dozens of Hamas' medium range (up to 40km ) underground rocket launching sites and other weapons storage facilities.

10:00 PM (12:00 PM PST): 
As of this time, the Iron Dome has intercepted 17 rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas continues to try to attack Israeli civilians.

9:55 PM (11:55 AM PST): 
The IDF publishes an aerial photo of a long-range rocket launch site in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza, meters away from a mosque and playground.

9:30 PM (11:30 AM PST):
 
The IDF publishes an aerial video of a long-range Fajr-5 rocket in Gaza.

8:35 PM (10:35 AM PST):
 The Iron Dome has intercepted 13 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

8:30 PM (10:30 AM PST): The Israeli Navy has struck terror sites in the Gaza Strip.

7:15 PM (9:15 AM PST): The IDF publishes video of its pinpoint strike on Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas' military wing in Gaza.

5:35 PM (7:30 AM PST): The IDF has seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) & underground weapons storage facilities.

4:30 PM (6:30 AM PST):  In the past hour, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas' military wing, in the Gaza Strip. Jabri was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas' command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against Israel in the past.


Statements from Israeli Officials

President Shimon Peres: 
The head of the military force of Hamas was killed today. He was a most extreme man and was in charge of all the attacks and assassinations from Gaza against Israel. Our intension is not to raise the flames, but already for days, day and night, they are shooting rockets at Israel. Mothers and their children cannot fall asleep. I was today there with the children. There are limits to what Israel is able to absorb.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Hamas and the terror organizations have elected in recent days to escalate their attacks on Israel's citizens. We are not prepared to make peace with a situation in which Israel's citizens are menaced by the terror of rocket fire. No country would agree to such a situation; Israel is not prepared to reconcile itself to such a situation.

Today we have damaged the strategic targets of Hamas in a precise fashion; we have substantially damaged the launch capabilities of rockets from Gaza to central Israel and we are damaging the launch capability to Southern Israel.The terror organizations hurt our citizens with premeditation, while they deliberately conceal themselves behind their own citizens. We in contradistinction refrain to the extent possible from harming civilians; this is a fundamental difference between us and them.  

They would simply like to wipe us off the face of the earth and they have no reservations about harming innocent civilians.

Today we transmitted a clear message to the Hamas organization and to other terrorist organizations and should the need arise, the IDF is prepared to expand the action. We will continue doing everything to protect our citizens."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak:
 "Israel does not seek war, but Hamas' provocations in recent weeks, most notably the repeated rounds of rocket and mortar fire directed at cities and towns in southern Israel, the explosives set off in an underground tunnel leading into Israel, and the firing of an anti-tank missile at a jeep inside Israeli territory forced us to take decisive action."

Ambassador Michael Oren: "Israel has the right and duty to defend itself from terrorist attacks designed to kill thousands of its citizens. We are sending an unequivocal message that our citizens will not be hostage to terrorist missile fire and cross-border attacks. The scope of the IDF's defensive operation depends on Hamas and whether it takes the decision to cease firing missiles on our neighborhoods and homes."

Consul General David Siegel: "Responding to over 800 rockets fired in recent weeks and months against Israeli civilians by Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza, Israel has launched Operation Pillar of Defense. In a pinpoint operation aimed at severely impairing Hamas' ability to strike Israel and place over one million Israelis within the range of fire, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, head of Hamas' military wing, as well as numerous long range rocket sites in Gaza capable of striking Tel Aviv. Jabri was personally responsible for countless terror attacks against Israel in recent years, including the recent rocket assault escalation. No country in the world would tolerate having its civilians placed under such a massive wave of rocket fire for months and years on end. Israel will continue to take those measures necessary to defend its civilian population."


Statements of Support

State Department: "We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel's right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination."

Speaker John A. Pérez: "Today the Government of Israel responded to weeks of cross-border rocket attacks on Israeli citizens by launching surgical airstrikes on rocket emplacements in the Gaza Strip, as well as targeted attacks on senior leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas. I believe the Israeli government made the correct decision in avoiding attacks on areas with civilians present, such as schools and hospitals where Hamas has made a practice of storing and firing weapons. Every American should be concerned about this latest escalation of the ongoing conflict, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been killed, Israeli and Palestinian alike.

I have visited Israel extensively, and have met with families and soldiers who live in the southern portions of Israel where these latest incidents have occurred. I know first-hand that the vast majority of Israelis, and the vast majority of Palestinians are fervently hopeful for the day when Israel and the Palestinian people can reach an accord that leads to lasting peace through security for the people of Israel and prosperity and opportunity for the Palestinian people."

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