Today, the IDF marks one year since it launched Operation Pillar of Defense, a widespread campaign designed to combat Gaza terrorism and defend Israelis living under rocket fire.
On November 14, 2012, in response to incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, the IDF launched a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza. The operation, called Pillar of Defense, had two main goals: to cripple terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and to defend Israelis living under fire.
For the first time ever, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups fired long-range rockets, such as the Fajr-5, toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Though the IDF severely damaged the terrorist organizations’ long-range rocket arsenal, more than 3.5 million Israelis are still under the threat of Hamas’ rocket fire.
The operation opened when the IDF surgically targeted the head of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, in the Gaza Strip. During the next eight days, the IDF targeted more than 1,500 terror sites across the Gaza Strip.
During the eight days of the operation — and in the weeks leading up to it — life was unbearable for more than 3.5 million Israelis. From November 14 to November 21, Palestinian terrorist groups fired more than 1,506 rockets at Israel. Of those 1,506 rockets fired from Gaza, more than 800 rockets struck Israel, damaging homes, schools and other civilian areas. Some of the rockets reached the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.
Throughout the operation, the IDF did everything that it could to minimize harm to civilians in Gaza. Despite the IDF’s warnings, Hamas urged Palestinian civilians in Gaza to ignore the IDF warnings.
Since Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, the terrorist group has turned the coastal area into a forward base for Iran. The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against Israel and its citizens.