Israel under fire: Operation Protective Edge.. A primer

Israel under fire: Operation Protective Edge.. A primer

What you need to know?


Israel once again finds itself forced into taking military action against Hamas in Gaza. Here are some of the key points and information concerning Operation Protective Edge.

Israel Under Fire

Since the beginning of 2014, Gaza terrorists have fired more than 450 rockets at innocent Israeli civilians. Rocket fire endangers more than 3.5 million people who live within rocket range of Gaza – about 40% of Israel’s population. There has been a dramatic escalation of rocket fire with some 240 rockets fired during the past month and at least 40 rockets hammering southern Israel on Monday night alone.

We are determined to lay a significant blow on Hamas’ terror capabilities and infrastructure, eliminate any threat on Israeli sovereignty emanating from the Gaza Strip and restore stability to the southern region. Terrorists perpetrating the aggression against Israel have a personal price to pay and will bear the consequences of their actions.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman

Hamas took the decision to escalate and will therefore pay a heavy price. Israel has attempted to deescalate the situation by offering ceasefires to Hamas. According to The Times of Israel:

Arabic daily Al-Hayat reports that Israel warned Hamas and Islamic Jihad through Egypt on Monday that if the rocket fire persists, the IDF will respond strongly.

“Israel will strike Gaza with a heavy hand if the two movements don’t accept a truce,” a senior Egyptian official told representatives of the two organizations, according to a Palestinian official.

The operation commenced on Monday night when the IDF attacked approximately 50 targets, including rocket launching systems and buried rocket launchers, tunnels, training camps, weapons storage sites, the homes of Hamas terrorists and other areas of terrorist activity.

No country in the world would put up with a situation where, in the weeks following the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, nearly 300 rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli population centers.

Hamas’ Rockets

Since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Hamas has increased the size and strength of its rocket arsenal. It currently possesses 10,000 rockets and mortars, including long-range rockets such as the Fajr-5.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has proven to be remarkably effective. However, no missile shield of this nature offers 100% protection. There are also a limited number of Iron Dome batteries to cover the entire region. While Israeli casualties have been low in proportion to the number of rockets fired, this is not from a lack of incentive on the part of Palestinian terrorists who are attempting to cause as many deaths and injuries as possible.

Be Prepared for Pallywood

Over the past week the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used hundreds of thousands of times, often to distribute pictures claiming to show the effects of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

A #BBCtrending investigation has found that many of these images are not from the latest conflict and not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Defending Israel Against Claims of Excessive Force

Palestinian rockets are not “home made” projectiles – they are deadly and threaten a large number of Israeli population centers. Gaza’s status as a terror base has also been enhanced as a result of quantities of upgraded weaponry smuggled from Sudan,Libya and Iran, which pose an even greater threat to the Israeli civilian population.

Based on previous experience, it’s only a matter of time before some of the international media criticize Israel for using “excessive” or “disproportionate force” to achieve its ends.

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