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July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rocket Attacks’

Day 9 Operation Protective Edge: IDF Targets Gaza’s Terror Leadership

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Unmoved by a night in which several of their top leaders lost their homes, Gaza terrorists unleashed rocket and missile barrages aimed at central and southern Israel throughout the day.

Nearly 70 rockets and missiles were fired by the terrorist group at Israel by 3 pm Wednesday, with more than 25 intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

In the afternoon Hamas launched a missile barrage towards the eastern Negev town of Dimona, home to Israel’s nuclear plant. Four missiles exploded in open areas on the outskirts of the city, with at least three of the explosions heard as far away as the northeastern city of Arad, located near the southern tip of the Dead Sea. No one was injured and no damage was reported. Three rockets were also intercepted by the Iron Dome over the Negev community of Kiryat Gat.

One rocket landed in the yard of a home in Ashkelon, causing some damage and sending one person into shock. No physical injuries were reported. Four other missiles exploded in open areas on the outskirts of the coastal city, causing no damage and no physical injuries. A number of people have reported anxiety and trauma attacks throughout southern Israel, however, and the number of Israelis suffering from trauma symptoms and anxiety is growing daily, mental health professionals reported.

Shortly after noon, six rockets were intercepted over the southern Israeli city of Ofakim, with three others exploding in open areas around the south.

Heavy rocket was aimed at the coastal city of Ashkelon and the Eshkol Regional Council district a few minutes before 8 am. Six of the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system over Ashkelon, officials reported. Four rockets exploded in Eshkol, including one that ignited a fire in an open area. Firefighters raced to the scene to extinguish the blaze. An additional rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system over the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi. A woman was injured in a rocket barrage fired at the Be’er Tuvia Regional Council district at around 8 am; she is listed in good condition with a leg wound.

A later barrage was aimed at central Israel about an hour later; four missiles were intercepted over the Gush Dan region at about 9:20 am. Curious Israelis were warned by Home Front Command and police officials not to touch the fallen shrapnel.

Israeli fighter pilots bombed the Gaza homes of some of its top terrorists in Gaza overnight, IDF officials confirmed Wednesday morning. One was Hamas co-founder and terror leader Mahmoud al-Zahar. IAF aircraft also carried out targeted strikes in the wee hours of Wednesday at the homes of Hamas officials Fathi Hamad and Ismail al-Ashqar, former Hamas health minister Bassem Naim, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Abdullah al-Harazin. It is believed that none of the officials were in their homes at the time of the strikes.

Following Tuesday night’s Security Cabinet meeting in Israel, another 39 targets were struck overnight in Gaza, including two weapons factories and eight rocket launchers. An additional air strike in the southern Gaza town of Rafah left two dead and wounded four. Rafah straddles the border with Egypt and is home to the region’s sole crossing with that nation. A Gaza Arab also allegedly died in a strike on the town of Khan Younis at about 8 am Wednesday morning, local sources said.

In cyber war activity, Israel seized control of the Al Aqsa television network for a period of time on Tuesday, airing slogans against Hamas and its military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

“He who does not know how to climb mountains will live forever between holes (tunnels),” one slogan read, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency. A picture of the Israeli flag was broadcast along with the words, written in Arabic. Photos of IDF troops monitoring Hamas missiles and striking rocket launchers were also broadcast.

Israel has carried out more than 1,750 air strikes across Gaza since the start of Operation Protective Edge, in retaliation for the launch of over 1,260 rockets, missiles and mortar shells at Israeli civilians. One major target was the command center operated by the Hamas Ministry of Internal Affairs, through which the group’s day-to-day internal armed terror mechanism — aside from the military unit — is supervised.

“Such apparatus are deeply involved in the organization’s militant operations, and many of its facilities are utilized to store weaponry and ammunition, launch rockets at Israel, and supervise terror attacks and other militant activities,” the IDF Spokesperson explained.

Some 985 rockets hit Israeli territory and 225 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system with an overall success rate of 86 percent.

In Gaza, health ministry officials said a total of 204 were killed and 1,530 were injured thus far since the start of the operation. Many died after choosing to act as human shields on behalf of Gaza terrorists, after Hamas government encouragement to stay in their homes despite receiving Israeli flyers and phone calls urging them to leave before an imminent attack.

The strikes, carried out with surgical precision, targeted Hamas terrorist leaders and those who were involved in launching rocket attacks against Israel. A fraction hit residential areas, and those generally were unavoidable, striking civilians when Arabs chose to remain.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system has had impressive success in protecting Israel’s populated areas, albeit at an astronomical financial cost; each interceptor missile used to neutralize missiles fired at Israeli cities and towns comes with a price tag of $50,000.

The system has shot down 180 missiles that were headed for Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dimona, Haifa, Gaza Belt communities and other populated areas of Israel since the start of the conflict.

Massive Rocket Barrages Around Israel, 1 Dead, Israel Security Cabinet to Meet

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists battered southern and central Israel with rocket and missile fire late in the day Tuesday.

News outlets and even incoming rocket alert systems had trouble keeping up with the number and intensity of the barrages fired from the region.

Within the half hour between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm, residents in all the coastal cities between Gaza and Rishon Lezion were sent scrambling for shelter – including Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yavneh, metro Tel Aviv, Yafo (Jaffa) and more. At least two homes were damaged by Grad missile fire in Ashkelon.

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups claimed joint responsibility for the M75 missile attacks on Tel Aviv. Two missiles were intercepted over central Israel. Two more landed somewhere in open areas around the ‘city that never sleeps,’ an ironic moniker in this environment of what sometimes seems like endless air raid sirens warning residents to run for safety.

Cities along the Gaza further east and into the Negev region were also not spared: Kiryat Gat, Be’er Sheva, Mitzpe Ramon, Dimona, Yerucham, Yahud, Shoham and communities in the Be’er Tuvia region were included in the alerts. Two Grad missiles exploded in open areas on the outskirts of the city of Be’er Sheva.

But it was the communities in the Gaza Belt region that took the biggest walloping throughout the day – and continue to be hit as the day gives way to the night — and it was in that area that Israel’s first casualty occurred Tuesday evening.

A man was critically injured at around 7 pm after being caught in a mortar attack near the Erez border crossing. He died of the multiple shrapnel wounds he sustained shortly after the shelling. The friend who accompanied him to distribute snacks to the soldiers at the front — and who was still in the car at the time of the attack — was not as severely wounded; he is listed in good condition.

The attack took place at the same crossing used to allow Gaza Arabs to enter for medical treatment at some of the best hospitals in Israel, and international workers to enter Gaza to help local residents. With only a 15-second window of time to reach shelter, shrapnel from the mortar shells reached the fleeing victim before he was able to reach a safe space.

The cities of Sderot, Ofakim and Netivot and the Sdot Negev, Sha’ar HaNegev and Eshkol Regional Council districts were pummeled unmercifully, with rocket barrages coming in clusters at times as often as every 90 seconds.

The IDF has struck at least 30 terror targets since abandoning the “cease fire” at noon on Tuesday. Terrorist tunnels, weapons factories and concealed rocket launchers were among the targets taken out, IDF sources said. One terrorist was eliminated as he was preparing to launch a rocket attack from northern Gaza.

At least 118 rockets have landed within Gaza since the start of Operation Protective Edge, according to IDF officials, all of which were malfunctions that occurred when Arab terrorists attempted to attack Israel and failed.

Nevertheless, Gaza terrorists have successfully launched more than 700 missiles and rockets at civilian communities from the south to the north in the Jewish State.

Israel’s Security Cabinet is scheduled to convene tonight (July 15) in Tel Aviv at 9 pm to determine the next step in Operation Protective Edge.

Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman told reporters at a briefing late this afternoon that he believes the IDF should go “all the way” and enter Gaza with a ground operation, without stopping until the region is back under full Israeli control.

Hamas Response to Israeli Cease Fire: Sharp Escalation in Missile Fire

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Gaza terrorists have fired some 30 rockets and mortars at Israel in response to the unilateral cease fire initiated by the Jerusalem government Tuesday morning.

An initial barrage of 10 rockets and missiles was fired at southern Israel late Tuesday morning, underlining the group’s rejection of a cease fire proposal advanced by Egypt and begun by Israel at 9am. Grad missiles exploded shortly after 11:30 am in the port city of Ashdod, re-traumatizing residents and destroying more property.

One house sustained a direct hit in Ashdod, but miraculously no one was physically injured. Several residents were treated for shock, however, according to police. Four other missiles were intercepted directly over the city by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, indicating they were all heading for populated areas. Shorter-range rockets also landed in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district. Both were proof Hamas intended to make good on its word to reject the cease fire proposal advanced by Egypt.

A few minutes later, two rockets were intercepted over the town of Netivot, and an IDF soldier sustained shrapnel wounds in a rocket attack on the town of Sderot. The attack was the third since Israel’s security cabinet had announced its decision to unilaterally stop firing – although, the IDF warned, defensive action would still be taken and offensive responses would be considered as the situation warranted.

By midday, Hamas had fired barrages aimed at Haifa, Hadera, Ness Tziona, Ashdod, Yavneh, Rehovot and Ashkelon, among numerous other targets. Two missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system above central Israel a few minutes before 2 pm.

Gaza’s Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told international reporters Tuesday morning, “The responses of resistance will continue until the demands of our people are achieved. Any unilateral Israeli cessation has no value in the light of the large crimes and the disastrous humanitarian situation.”

Among other points, the proposal, accepted unilaterally by Israel’s security cabinet in a 6-2 vote Tuesday morning, called for border crossings (from Israel) to Gaza to “be opened,” with the movement of people and goods to be “facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.”

One hour after Israel announced it had accepted Egypt’s proposed cease fire with Gaza, Hamas terrorists responded with a terse statement. “Don’t speak to us about a “calm” or ‘ceasefire.’ Our rockets will continue to land in your territory,” Gaza’s ruling faction promised.

The terrorist group punctuated its response with rocket fire aimed at a group of communities in the Eshkol Regional Council district. Two rockets landed in open areas.

About half an hour later, a Color Red incoming rocket alert sent members of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom racing for their shelters as well. In that area, Israelis have only 15 seconds to reach a safe space before a rocket explodes in their midst.

According to the terms of the proposal accepted by Israel, firing was to cease at 9 am. Between 9am and 12 noon, however, 22 rockets and missiles were fired at Israel from Gaza.

IDF Spokesman Lt.Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement sent to media at 10:50 am, “In accordance with the government directives, the IDF now holds fire. We remain alert and preserve high preparedness levels, both defensive and offensive. If the Hamas terror organization will fire at Israel, we shall respond.”

The vote by the security cabinet – which was not unanimous – also approved “forceful action” if Hamas violated the agreement, which it did within the hour. But it is not clear what, if anything, Israel will do, nor did officials give any indication what the term “forceful action” might mean.

Although Israeli officials tried to paint the cease fire acceptance as a victory, civilians calling in to radio programs Tuesday morning were anything but satisfied. Most expressed disappointment and outrage that Israel was backing away without first eliminating the rocket fire from Gaza as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had promised to do at the outset of launching Operation Protective Edge. “The goals of the operation were to restore quiet for a long period of time and that goal has been achieved,” said a diplomatic source immediately following the cabinet meeting.

However, that is not true and quiet has not, in fact, been achieved at all – as was proved one scant hour after the cabinet vote.

The one advantage Israelis have gained is the certain knowledge – previously unrevealed – about the expansion and sophistication of the Hamas arsenal and military force, and the fact there is no longer anywhere in the country safe from Gaza missile fire. We are no longer facing a group of primitive terrorists in Gaza; we now face a full-fledged Hamas military force, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon, plus ISIS. That issue must be dealt with and the sooner, the better.

Additional Iron Dome Battery Deployed

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

An additional Iron Dome anti-missile system was deployed Monday evening, the third such installation to be completed in the past seven days.

Israel currently deploys nine Iron Dome batteries to protect its civilians and soldiers from missile and rocket fire launched by Hamas and other terrorists on its borders.

In the past week, missiles were fired at Israel from Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. Millions of Israelis raced for shelter under the constant rocket fire aimed from the borders.

The Iron Dome has saved millions of lives and homes but Israel’s economy is taking a battering: each interceptor missile fired to defend a city costs $50,000. Each battery installed to launch those interceptors costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Missile Fire Strikes Golan Heights

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Hamas terrorists fired a fresh barrage of missiles late Monday afternoon while an attack from Syria hit the Golan Heights.

The attacks began with a barrage fired at metropolitan Tel Aviv in the central Dan region, followed five minutes later by another at metro Be’er Sheva in the Negev. Barely a minute later, missile fire from Syria was aimed at the Ramat HaGolan.

Hundreds of thousands of residents went racing for shelter in the suburbs of Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Givat Shmuel, Petach Tikvah, Givatayim, and as far north as the city of Herzliya.

At least four missiles landed in open areas in the Gush Dan region, where the ‘city that never sleeps’ is located – but no specific location has yet been released.

One of the missiles was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, indicating it was headed directly for a populated area.

Barely five minutes later, Arab, Druze and Jewish residents of Israel’s Negev region were running for shelter.

The sound of the Color Red incoming rocket alert siren sent Druze residents of the village of Majdal Shams racing for cover, while their neighbors just a few kilometers down the road did the same in Jewish communities around the Golan Heights.

At least one rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over Be’er Sheva, and two others exploded in open areas on the outside of the city.

In the Golan Heights, at least one missile exploded in an open area near a kibbutz. No one was physically injured, but a fire broke out in the field.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attacks in the metro Tel Aviv area, but at present it appears the missile fire aimed at the Golan Heights emanated from across the northern border in Syria. As with the missile fire originating from Lebanon, the attack raises the spectre of an additional front in the current conflict.

8-Yr-Old Boy Injured in Missile Attack on Ashdod; Patriot Missiles Knock Out Suicide Bomber Drone

Monday, July 14th, 2014

An 8-year-old boy in Ashdod was injured by flying shrapnel Monday when a missile exploded at midday in a yard. A car was set afire by the same explosion.

A barrage of six missiles were fired at the port city of Ashdod at 12:30 pm, with four intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. A third landed near a home in the Ashkelon Coastal region, damaging the house. No one was physically hurt in the attack.

In mid-afternoon, another rocket exploded in the space between two homes in Sderot. Miraculously, no one was physically injured.

Gaza terrorists continue to launch barrages of rockets and missiles at Israel, with the focus of their attacks on Monday morning and afternoon concentrated on the southern regions. A number of other attacks were fired at the coastal city of Ashkelon as well as other areas.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – also known as a drone – was shot down with a Patriot missile in the early morning hours by IDF forces deployed near Ashdod.

The explosion from the interception was heard as far away as the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh, in central Israel, readers reported, triggering air raid sirens at approximately 6:30 a.m. local time.

Hamas terrorists later boasted they had sent the drone to photograph shots of the IDF’s Kiryah headquarters in Tel Aviv, and had succeeded in acquiring the intelligence they wanted.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, however, praised the Iron Dome crew that had been alert to the threat and shot down the drone. At a briefing later in the day, Ya’alon pointed to the soldiers’ spotting the drone as an example of the IDF’s “readiness in the face of [their] attempts to harm us in any way they can.”

The IDF spent time this past year drilling precisely for such a scenario, with combat helicopter and fighter jet pilots taking part, according to the Israel Air Force website. Israeli forces are prepared for all types of threats that might face the Jewish State, and have been dishing out a few of their own.

“When Hamas leaders emerge from hiding they will see the extent of the destruction and damage that we have caused their organization, and that will make them regret they entered this round of fighting against Israel,” Ya’alon told reporters.

“We continue to smash Hamas and its infrastructure. They have suffered great damage. We have destroyed weapons factories, tunnels, terrorists’ homes and institutions and we will continue this activity today.”

3 Rockets Fired at Metro Tel Aviv, Iron Dome Blocks All

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Nearly a million Israelis were sent scrambling mid-morning Friday as Gaza terrorists fired three M75 missiles at central Israel.

All three missiles were intercepted over the metropolitan Tel Aviv area by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system — at a cost of $50,000 per interceptor missile.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-rockets-fired-at-metro-tel-aviv-iron-dome-blocks-all/2014/07/11/

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