IDF Targets Hamas militants and facilities in Gaza

Israel Responds to Hamas Rocket Attacks

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    ​The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched Wednesday afternoon a defensive strike on a significant number of long range rockets sites owned by Hamas.

    In the last week alone, Hamas, a terrorist organization, has launched 150 rockets at Israel's south. The Government of Israel has decided to respond with targeted and surgical strikes against those responsible, and to impair its terrorist infrastructure. Israel cannot tolerate the escalation of rocket fire aimed at its citizens. The IAF seriously impacted Hamas's long range missile capabilities and underground weapons storage facilities. Most of the Hamas rockets that have been fired at our civilians in the past have had a range of up to 25 miles. Today, we have been targeting the Fajr-5, which has a range of nearly 40 miles, putting three million Israelis within terrorist missile range. The IAF has been surgical and restrained in its response to the Hamas missile escalations, and has not targeted the long-range missiles stored in mosques, schools, and hospitals. 

    As part of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel eliminated Ahmed al-Jabri, the head of the Hamas military wing, who joined Hamas in 1995 and rose to a senior leadership position in 2004. He was directly involved in numerous terrorist attacks against Israel, including the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

     
    "Israel has the right and duty to defend itself from terrorist attacks designed to kill thousands of its citizens," Ambassador Michael Oren said. "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."

    President Peres Speaks to President Obama 
    The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, spoke to the President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama this afternoon. "The head of the military force of Hamas was killed half an hour ago. He was a most extreme man and was in charge of all the attacks and assassinations from Gaza against Israel. We shall handle it with great care. Our intension is not to raise the flames, but already for days, day and night, they are shooting rockets at Israel. Women cannot fall asleep. I was today there with the children. You know, there are limits. So I want you to know and I wanted to explain our motives."

    Operation is a response to ongoing Hamas​ assault

    Operation Pillar of Defense ("Amud Anan") was launched as a response to the ongoing Hamas assault on Israel's civilian population. More than 120 rockets were fired at southern Israel in the past four days, forcing more than million Israelis into shelters.

    In addition to strikes on rocket facilities, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas' military wing. Jabri, a senior Hamas operative who was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the past several years, was targeted in a surgical operation.

    In the past month, Israeli civilian population has been subject to a barrage of rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. The latest round began last Saturday afternoon with a deliberate attack on an Israeli military vehicle which was patrolling the Israeli side of the fence with Gaza, and then followed by the shooting of over 120 rockets into Israel's southern communities.

    Israel unilaterally ended its military and civilian presence in Gaza in 2005. After taking over in 2007, Hamas has turned Gaza into a base for an ongoing terrorist assault on innocent Israeli civilians. Since 2009, thousands of rockets were launched from Gaza forcing more than million civilians in southern Israel into bomb shelters & repeatedly keeping Israeli children out of school.

    According to the IDF statement, "this operation deals a significant blow to the terror organizations' underground rocket launching capabilities and munitions ware houses that are owned by Hamas and other terror organizations."

    For ongoing updates please refer to the Embassy Twitter Account

    For more information regarding the military aspects of the operation please refer to the IDF Twitter account and website​.


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