Israelis take cover in a concrete pipe used as a bomb shelter in Nitzan, Southern Israel.
More than 820 rockets have been fired at Israel since last Saturday (November 10), of which 703 were fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense (November 14). Three Israeli civilians killed, 2 severely injured, 3 moderately and more than 60 lightly injured. In addition, six IDF soldiers were injured.
Today (November 17), two rockets fired at Tel-Aviv, one was intercepted by the Iron Dome battery and the other fell in an open area. four rockets struck the city of Ashdod. Over 3.5 million citizens in Israel are currently under the threat of rockets fired from Gaza.
The main objective of Operation Pillar of Defense is protecting the citizens of southern Israel. The IDF is targeting Hamas commanders and rocket launching squads as well as the headquarters buildings of Hamas in Gaza. Israel is exercising its legitimate and recognized right of self-defense.
The IDF goes to great lengths to minimize harm to civilians. Israel regrets any injury to civilians and places responsibility squarely on Hamas, which uses the residents of Gaza as human shields. The IDF made tens of thousands of phone calls to Gaza residents to warn them about the military operation. The IAF dropped flyers throughout the Gaza Strip calling for people to distance themselves from known terrorists, weapons stores and launching sites.
The government of Israel appreciates the support of the international community for its actions taken in self-defense against the terrorism emanating from Gaza. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke again last night (November 16) with U.S. President Barack Obama and expressed his deep appreciation for the President's support of Israel's right to defend itself. Many other democratic states have issued statements of support for Israel’s self-defensive actions, including Canada, Australia, the UK, France and the EU (High Commissioner Ashton).
Israel calls on the international community to support efforts to eradicate terrorism and to put a complete and permanent stop to the shooting of rockets at civilians.
More information on the situation in Israel: