Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson
In response to the incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip - more than 700 have struck Israel since the beginning of the year, and more than 120 since Saturday - 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.
Rocket and mortar attacks: 2001-2012
In subsequent air strikes, the IDF seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) and underground weapons storage facilities.
On Wednesday evenint (14 Nov), terrorists in Gaza fired over 50 Grad rockets towards Israel's southern cities. One of the rockets hit a shopping center and caused damage to a vehicle and stores, but no injuries were reported.
Photo: IDF Spokesperson
Israelis prepare to sleep in a bomb shelter in the southern town of Netivot (Photo: Reuters)
DM Barak: "A few hours ago, the political echelons ordered the IDF to launch Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. The accuracy of the intelligence on behalf of both the Israel Security Agency and our Military Intelligence, as well as the precise action of the IDF, led to the elimination of Hamas' military leader Ahmed Jabari. We also struck most of the long range Fajr missiles and additional Hamas infrastructure.
Israel does not want war. But Hamas' consistent provocation in recent weeks
, in particular the incessant rounds of artillery rockets and mortars into the heart of our southern communities, the tunnel which exploded deep into Israeli territory, the anti-tank missile fired at a jeep - again inside of Israel - forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness."|
- Full statement
President Shimon Peres spoke to US President Barack Obama
about the situation in southern Israel and Gaza. At the start of the conversation President Peres updated President Obama about the situation on Israel's southern border
and said, "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 intention 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."
PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama. The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation for US President Obama's support of Israel's right to defend itself.
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.