Israel Under Fire: IDF responds :Updated

Israel Under Fire: IDF responds (updated)

  •   Israel Under Fire: IDF responds (updated)
    ​Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, at least 1,850 rockets were fired at Israel of which 1,400 rockets hit israel and 376 rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome.
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    Weapons found in tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa, July 17, 2014 Weapons found in tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa, July 17, 2014 Copyright: IDF Spokesperson
    ​Weapons found in tunnel near kibbutz Sufa, july 17 2014
    PM Netanyahu and DM Yaalon (17 July 2014) instructed the IDF to commence ground action to strike at the terrorist tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
    ·         The cabinet approved the ground operation after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal and Hamas rejected it and continued to fire rockets on Israel's cities. Hamas also violated the UN-requested humanitarian cease-fire by continuing to fire on Israel.
    ·         Israel will defend its citizens in response to Hamas's unceasing aggression and infiltrations into Israeli territory, as it did Thursday morning when Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel via one of the tunnels with the goal of carrying out a mass casualty attack against Israeli civilians.
    ·         Operation Protective Edge will continue until its goals are reached - restoring sustained peace and quiet to the citizens of Israel, while striking hard at the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.
    ·         Israel is doing everything it can to avoid civilian casualties. By contrast, Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as human shields and is responsible for any harm that comes to them. To give but one example, the UN announced today that Hamas had hidden rockets in an UNRWA school in Gaza.
    ·         The international community has recognized that Israel has made significant efforts to restore peace and quiet and that it has the right to defend itself.

    July 20: 13 Israeli soldiers of the Golani Brigade were killed overnight in the course of the IDF operation in Gaza. 65 are hospitalized.
    In the first incident, terrorists detonated an explosive device on an armored vehicle, causing the death of seven soldiers. In the second, terrorists opened fire at two IDF soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip, killing one. Later, IDF soldiers were attacked by a terrorist squad in northern Gaza, leading to the death of two soldiers. Lastly, three IDF soldiers lost their lives when they became trapped in a burning building.

    Israel agrees to humanitarian window

    Israel agreed to the Red Cross request for a humanitarian window in Sejaiya and will hold fire there from 13:30-15:30. Since July 8, Hamas has fired over 140 rockets at Israel from Sejaiya, and 10 tunnel openings have been uncovered.
    IDF: Although we agreed to the Red Cross' request to extend the a ceasefire in Sejaiya until 17:30, Hamas has not stopped shooting from Sejaiya and opened fire from near Wafa Hospital.

    Israel will open a field hospital on the Israeli side of the Erez Crossing for Palestinians in Gaza.

    July 19: Terror infiltration from central Gaza

    Major (res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45 from Hod Hasharon and Adar Barsano, 20, from Nahariya were killed when Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israeli territory through a tunnel from the central Gaza Strip and ambushed a military vehicle patrolling on the Israeli side of the border.
    Items found after the attack, including handcuffs and bottles containing sedatives, indicate that Hamas planned to kill and kidnap soldiers and/or civilians and take them back to Gaza.
    The IDF has uncovered 13 tunnels and over 30 tunnel entrances.

    July 17: Terror tunnel

    Early Thursday morning (July 17), just a few hours before the start of a humanitarian ceasefire, IDF forces thwarted an attack by Hamas terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Israel via a terror tunnel, preventing the terrorists from attacking an Israeli kibbutz.

    July 17: "Humanitarian window"

    Following requests by representatives of the UN and other international organizations on Wednesday evening (July 16, 2014), the IDF has declared a "humanitarian window" in Gaza on Thursday, 17 July between 10:00-15:00. The purpose of the humanitarian window is to allow the civilian population in Gaza to get needed supplies such as food and medications. During this time the IDF will not initiate military actions in Gaza, but will respond in case Israel is attacked.

    Gazan terrorists violated the truce by firing three mortars at Israel. An IDF soldier was lightly injured by an explosion during operational activity near southern Gaza. One minute after 3pm, rocket fire from Gaza resumed against Israeli civilian areas. The IDF subsequently resumed attacks on terror targets in Gaza.
    Israel had also accepted an earlier Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire to begin on Tuesday morning, 15 July 2014, at 09:00. This proposal was rejected by Hamas.
    ·         PM Netanyahu: "If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal, and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease, and that appears to be the case now, we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation to protect our people. For this we have kept full support from the responsible members of the international community."
    ·         IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner: “In according with the government directives, the IDF now holds fire. We remain alert and preserve high preparedness levels, both defensive and offensive. If the Hamas terror organization will fire at Israel, we shall respond.”

    Five hours later, following the continuation of rocket fire from Gaza, PM Netanyahu said: "Hamas's rejection of the cease fire gives Israel full legitimacy to expand the operation to protect our people."
    At 3pm the IDF Spokesperson announced: “After six hours of unilateral attacks by Hamas, the IDF has resumed operational activity in the Gaza Strip. Since 9am Tuesday, about 50 rockets were fired at Israel.” The IDF struck at Hamas tunnels, 20 concealed rocket launchers, weapons storage facilities and other operational infrastructure.
    The IDF has targeted terror targets, from the air and the sea. Among the sites targeted: long-range rocket launchers, Hamas leadership facilities, terror and smuggling tunnels, compounds and training sites, communications facilities, and additional sites used for terror activities targeting Israel, including command and control centers.
    US Secretary of State John Kerry: "I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas, in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers, in the face of the good will effort to offer a cease fire in which Egypt and Israel joined together and the international community strongly supports the compelling need to have a ceasefire.

    At the same time there are great risks in what is happening there and in the potential of an even greater escalation of violence. We don't want to see that, nobody does, nor does Israel. But Israel has a right to defend itself and it is important for Hamas not to be provoking and purposefully trying to play politics in order to gain greater followers for its opposition, and use the innocent lives of civilians who they hide in buildings and use as shields and put in danger. That is against the laws of war. And thats why they are a terrorist organization.

    We urge all parties to support this ceasefire. And we ask all the members of the Arab community, as they did yesterday at the Arab League meeting in Cairo, to continue to press to try to get Hamas to do the right thing here, which is cease the violence, engage in a legitimate negotiation and protect the lives of people that they seem all too willing to put to risk."
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: "I am deeply concerned about the situation which is taking place in Gaza between Israelis and Palestinian military jihadists and Hamas. I have been very deeply engaged with regional and global leaders during the last few days since the outbreak of this crisis...
    I appreciate key actors, like Egyptian President Sisi and Qatari Amir and other many leaders, including the United States, who have been reallyi trying hard to facilitate a ceasefire. And I was encouraged when the Israeli Government has agreed to this ceasefire proposal brodered by the Egyptian President.
    At the same time, I am deeply worried and disappointed that Hamas has not agreed to this and this violence has resumed again between the two parties."
    Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird: "As the Israeli cabinet approved a ceasefire that would have ended eight days of hostilities, Hamas rejected it without a second thought. This proves Hamas has no interest in peace.

    We have long believed that innocent Palestinian people living in Gaza deserve far better than the reckless actions of this terrorist organization. Canada views Hamas as an international terrorist organization that is bent on the destruction of the State of Israel.

    The scourge of terrorism must be wholly rejected by all peace-loving people around the world. We must never allow moral relativism to act as cover for the indiscriminate attacks on Israel we have seen over the past eight days. We believe that Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself, from the continued campaign of terror being waged by Hamas."
    Since July 8, 100 rockets fired from Gaza have fallen within the Gaza Strip. 
    Hamas fires from civilian areas... and hits its own people

    A rocket fired from Gaza fell short and exploded at the UNRWA warehouses causing a massive fire

    On Sunday, July 13, a rocket fired from Gaza hit electricity infrastructure in Israel that supplied power to Gaza, cutting power to about 70,000 people in Gaza.
    On July 16, two out of the ten high-power lines that Israel uses to provide electricity to Gaza were again hit by Hamas rockets. The Israeli Electricity Corporation (IEC), which provides power to Gaza, will not be able to repair the two lines due to the immediate threat to the lives of its technicians when doing repairs in open areas subject to frequent rocket attack.
    Since the beginning of the year, until the launching of Operation Protective Edge, Gaza terrorists fired more than 450 rockets towards Israeli citizens. The attacks sent thousands running into bomb shelters, threatening millions of Israeli lives. In order to restore quiet to the region and stop Hamas terrorism, the IDF has commenced Operation Protective Edge. 
    Since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, Hamas has continued to arm itself with vast amounts of weaponry and is currently in possession of 10,000 rockets. Hamas deliberately and systematically exploits Palestinians and uses them as human shields when firing at Israel. With the increased range of rockets, some 6 million Israelis are currently living under the threat of rocket attacks. No nation would accept this reality. 
    Although Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense system stops some of the attacks, most rockets are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest cities. More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Many have only 15 seconds. 
     Monday, June 30 saw a sharp escalation in rocket fire, with the intensification in attacks beginning in the morning, prior to the discovery of the boys' bodies. That day, Hamas itself fired rockets.
    These rockets have injured Israelis, damaged cars, homes and property. On Thursday morning (3 July) a rocket hit a nursery school and rockets burned two factories in Sderot to the ground (28 June).
    In addition to the rocket attacks, Palestinians have carried out cross-border attacks from Gaza. A terrorist armed with a grenade infiltrated an Israeli village (22 June) and Israeli forces were attacked on 28 and 29 June. 
    Hamas controls the Gaza Strip since 2007 and bears responsibility for the rocket attacks.