A short while ago, a ceasefire agreement regarding the fighting in the south, came into effect. Following eight days of operations, the IDF has accomplished its pre-determined objectives for Operation Pillar of Defense, and has inflicted severe damage to Hamas and its military capabilities.
As a result of IDF operations, the command and control apparatus of Hamas was significantly struck, beginning with the targeting of the commander of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabri, continuing with the targeting of broad terrorist infrastructure, facilities and military bases, as well as the destruction of dozens of smuggling and explosive tunnels.
During the operation, the IDF damaged and destroyed significant elements of Hamas' strategic capabilities, among them. Amongst those capabilities were long-range (over 40 km) and hundreds of short- and medium-range rocket launchers. These actions have severely impaired Hamas' launching capabilities, resulting in a decreasing number of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip. The 'Iron Dome' defense system has accomplished high rate of successful interceptions (84%) and Hamas' accuracy with regards to hitting populated areas within Israel remained below 7%.
IDF soldiers, in regular and reserve military service, gathered in assembly areas and prepared for the ground operation. Their time was used for training and improving their operational capabilities.
These operational achievements provided the underlying framework for this evening's ceasefire agreement.
At this time, Israeli residents are requested to continue to pay attention to Home Front Command's instructions.
Over the course of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF targeted over 1,500 terror sites including 19 senior command centers, operational control centers and Hamas' senior-rank headquarters, 30 senior operatives, damaging Hamas' command and control, hundreds of underground rocket launchers, 140 smuggling tunnels, 66 terror tunnels, dozens of Hamas operation rooms and bases, 26 weapon manufacturing and storage facilities and dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites.
Senior Operatives Targeted:
14.11 – Ahmed Sai'd Halil Jabri, head of Hamas' military wing.
15.11 – Hab's Hassan Us Msamch, senior operative in Hamas' police.
16.11 – Ahmed Abu Jalal, Commander of the military wing in Al-Muazi
16.11 – Khaled Shayer, senior operative in the anti-tank operations.
17.11 – Osama Kadi, senior operative in the smuggling operations in the southern Gaza Strip.
17.11 – Muhammad Kalb, senior operative in the aerial defense operations.
19.11 – Ramz Harb, Islamic Jihad senior operative in propaganda in Gaza city.
Number of Rocket Launches Toward Israel During the Operation:
14.11 – 75
15.11 – 316
16.11 – 228
17.11 – 237
18.11 – 156
19.11 – 143
20.11 – 221
21.11 (Until 21:00) - 130
Rocket Launched Towards Israel:
Total number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip – 1,506
Open areas – 875
Urban areas – 58
'Iron Dome' Interceptions – 421
Failed launching attempts – 152
Fatalities - 5
Injuries - 240
B'nai B'rith sent the following letter to The Washington Post
“Attacks intensify along Gaza border” by Karin Brulliard leaves a vital part of the story untold.
You note: “…among more than 300 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza since the Israeli operation began Wednesday…”
While that is true—the Israeli operation did begin Wednesday—what you leave out and what is crucial to conveying the full situation—is that Israel was responding to hundreds of Hamas rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Israel’s operation is a reaction to relentless terror attacks.
Your story leaves the impression that Israel started this situation. Israel showed remarkable and commendable restraint for days as its citizens hid in bomb shelters trying to escape from Hamas rockets.
To fairly report the situation, each story in the Post needs to include the fact that Israel was responding to attacks against its people.
**NOTE: The Post ombudsman responded that he would be investigating this issue in an upcoming column.
NEWS REPORTS OF NOTE
Washington Post: Egypt Brokers Gaza Ceasefire - Ernesto Londono and Michael Birnbaum
On Wednesday an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire halted the most serious clash since 2009 between Israel and Hamas, but leaves the crux of the conflict unresolved. The agreement restricts Israel from deploying ground troops or targeting militant leaders in Gaza, while Palestinian factions there are commanded to cease rocket attacks on Israel. After seven days in which hundreds of Palestinian rockets were fired into Israel and hundreds of Israeli airstrikes targeted Gaza, the U.S. and Egypt played key mediating roles in the accord, which was announced in Cairo after a meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president.
> Read the full story.
Haaretz: Israel's Gaza Operation Achieved Its Goals - Aluf Benn
Israel's Gaza operation had two strategic goals: to reinstate the Gaza ceasefire with Hamas and to stabilize the peace with Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Israel expects Hamas to stop the firing and enforce quiet on other armed organizations. This agreement is not based on love, but on joint interests backed by a balance of fear - the IDF's air firepower and threat of a ground invasion.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak declared on Wednesday: "Hamas is responsible for enforcing the ceasefire." This means Israel expects Ahmed Jabari's successor to ensure quiet on the border. If he is sloppy or refuses, he may expect the same fate that befell the Hamas chief of staff who was assassinated last week. This is what Israeli leaders mean when they use the term "renewing the deterrence."
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi proved that he too prefers interests to ideology. Morsi has made it clear the peace with Israel is an Egyptian interest and even serves Egypt's desire to resume a leadership position in the region.
Netanyahu showed it was possible to bomb Gaza and kill Hamas' chief of staff without harming the peace with Cairo. In the new strategic environment generated by the "Arab Spring," this is no mean feat.
> Read the story.
Boston Globe: A Vast Moral Difference - Jeff Jacoby
Media coverage of the hostilities in Gaza tends to focus on rockets and casualties and diplomatic maneuvering. Not emphasized nearly enough is the vast moral distance that separates Israel from its terrorist enemy. On one side is a Jewish state that seeks peace with its neighbors and has repeatedly offered deep concessions to achieve it; on the other, a fanatic regime of jihadists who glorify death, abominate Jews, and are obsessed with eradicating that solitary Jewish state.
By now it should be obvious even to the congenitally naive that so long as Hamas rules Gaza - a de facto Palestinian state, no matter what anyone calls it - it will never end its quest for Israel's annihilation and peace will remain but a dream.
> Read the story.
Guardian-UK: Hamas Leaves Israel No Choice - Danny Ayalon
Hamas' charter includes the aspiration that "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)." It is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. The charter begins with the ominous warning that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." Death and destruction is seen as a win-win calculation, as any Israeli death is considered a glorious achievement and every Palestinian death that of a "holy martyr."
Israel has been left with little choice but to root out this nest of hate and destruction. No nation on earth would allow a third of its population to live in constant fear of incessant fire emanating from a neighboring territory. We gave the international community time to act. However, there was a deafening silence, demonstrating to Israelis that we had to take action to protect our citizens. Those who refused to condemn the attacks on Israeli citizens have no right to condemn Israel's response to establish peace and quiet for its citizens.
The writer is Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
> Read the story.
From the White House: Obama: U.S. to Intensify Efforts to Halt Weapons Smuggling to Gaza
President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday. The White House said: "The president made clear that no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians. The president commended the prime minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal - which the president recommended the prime minister do - while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself."
"The president said that the U.S. would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza. The president said he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other U.S.-Israel missile defense programs."
B'nai B'rith Statement
B’nai B’rith International stands in solidarity with Israel and supports the country’s right to defend itself.
> Read the full release
Israel Emergency Fund Opened
B’nai B’rith International has launched an Israel Emergency Fund in response to events in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Its goal is to raise funds to assist Israeli residents who are dealing with a barrage of rocket attacks from Hamas. Funds could also be used to help with the personal needs of Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
> Make a donation today.
The following blog will provide daily updates. Subscribe to the RSS feed below or return to the page often to stay up-to-date on the information you need to stay informed.