You keep hearing that “Israel has the right to defend itself,” but from what exactly? Here is everything you need to know about the constant threat Hamas forces Israel’s civilians to face.
Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel. Over 3.5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks.
More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Most rockets launched from Gaza into Israel are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest southern cities.
Rocket fire from Gaza is a constant threat facing Israel’s civilians. In 2011 alone, 630 rockets from Gaza hit Israeli towns. That’s an even higher number than in 2010, when 231 rockets hit Israel.
Since 2001, more than 12,800 rockets and mortars, an average of 3 attacks every single day, have landed in Israel.
Hamas, the ruling entity of the Gaza Strip, is responsible for most of the rocket fire on Israeli population centers. The organization – which is recognized by the US, UK, EU and Israel as a terrorist group – has been increasing the size and capabilities of its rocket arsenal. In addition, Hamas has turned a blind eye as other terrorist organizations have launched rocket attacks.
Twice since 2005, the IDF has been forced to launch major operations in response to heavy rocket fire on Israel’s civilians.
Operation Pillar of Defense – 2012
On November 14 of last year, in response to incessant rocket attacks in the Gaza Strip, the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense, a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza.
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. The majority of those rockets struck Israel, damaging homes, schools and other civilian areas.
During the operation, 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.
Operation Cast Lead – 2008
In December 2008, after exhausting non-military moves and diplomatic overtures to hinder Hamas’ rocket attacks, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead. The military operation was successful in destroying Hamas’ rocket launchers and terror infrastructure.
Almost immediately after the operation, Hamas focused on rearming itself and increasing its military capabilities. The terroirst organization extended the range and quality of weapons that threaten Israel’s civilian population. Thousands of rockets were smuggled into Gaza, and many of the terror cells which Israel neutralized in 2008 have been revived.
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