Exactly 11 years ago on April 16, 2001 the then Saudi Arabian-backed Hamas terrorist organization launched its first rocket into Israel. Hamas is the ruling entity of the Gaza Strip and recognized as a terrorist group by the US, European Union, Canada, Japan and Israel. (Read more about Hamas.)
This single rocket launch was just the beginning, and to date, more than 12,700 rockets and mortars, an average of 3 attacks every single day, have landed in Israel endangering the lives of more than 1,000,000 civilians. Those civilians living in the danger zone have learned to be acutely aware of the location of the closest bomb shelter at any given moment, because they never know when the siren will go off next.
Faced with this relentless barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, Israel developed a variety of defense measures ranging from measures to identify and precisely target rocket launch sites–sometimes even just seconds before a launch attempt–to sophisticated missile defense systems.
Despite the constant threat aimed at civilians, the IDF strives to keep the casualty count to a minimum. Whether it’s the instructors of the IDF Home Front Command who visit schools and teach children how to act when the warning sirens go off, or the Iron Dome system intercepting and destroying rockets headed for population centers, the IDF works hard to protect Israel and its citizens.
Read more about the rocket attacks from Gaza: First rocket fired from Gaza at Israel exactly 11 years ago
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