In response to incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, the IDF has launched a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza. The operation, called Pillar of Defense, has two main goals: to protect Israeli civilians and to cripple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.
One of the most popular yet misleading arguments made is that Israel is not actually under attack, as proven by the low number of Israeli casualties.
“If Gaza was truly a threat,” goes the reasoning, “there would be more Israeli casualties. Just like there are in Gaza.”
The truth of the matter is that since the start of the operation, more than 650 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel, with clear intentions of hurting the Israeli population. Each of these rockets has the capability of killing civilians, just like in Kiryat Malachi on November 15, where a rocket strike killed three civilians. These rockets also cause severe damage.
Since November 14 and the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have targeted Israel’s largest population centers. Using the Iranian long-range rocket, Fajr-5, terrorists fired rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. These attacks mean that 3.5 million Israelis are under the threat of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
So, if such a large number of rockets hit a limited area which houses over 3.5 million residents, how come the number of Israeli civilian casualties is so low?
Preventative Strikes on Terrorists and Weapon Manufacturing Sites in Gaza:
A well-known tactic of the Israeli Air Force is to thwart terror attacks by striking preemptively at a site where terrorists are in the act of launching rockets. This is important, because if there is no absolute certainty that these are terrorists actively harming Israel, the strike is aborted even at the last minute. Just like in this video:
Since the start of the operation, the IDF has targeted more than 1,300 terror sites in the Gaza Strip, thwarting tens of rocket-launching attempts and targeting countless rocket launching sites. These strikes caused severe damage to terror groups’ arsenal and drastically reduced the threat posed to Israeli civilians, by simple elimination.
The Iron Dome System: Groundbreaking Active Defense.
A crucial defense since its deployment, the Iron Dome system is proving invaluable when countering the rocket threat. Its goal: to shoot down rockets about to hit major population centers. Some rockets land in open areas and pose little threat, but many others hit cities and towns. It’s these rockets that the Iron Dome system intercepts, calculating their trajectory and neutralizing them before they cause damage.
Since the beginning of the operation, the Iron Dome System has intercepted over 340 rockets aimed directly at Israeli civilians, including rockets speeding toward the Tel Aviv area. That’s more than an 80 percent success rate. That’s active defense.
The Readiness of the Israeli Home Front:
This isn’t Israel’s first time dealing with aggression from Gaza. In fact, over the last 12 years, more than 12,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza, terrorizing the lives of over a million Israelis in the south. People are already used to having less than 15 seconds to run to the nearest bomb shelter every time a rocket falls.
To help civilians be as safe as possible, in the past few days dozens of Home Front Command instructors visited shopping centers, schools and nursing homes throughout the country, explaining what to do in case of a rocket attack.
All together, the low number of injured Israelis in the recent escalation wasn’t due to any humane gestures made by the terror organizations, or because they’re not really a threat–it was because the IDF makes a point of differentiating between civilians and soldiers, and keeping the civilians safe.
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