Live War Blog: Operation Pillar of Defense

11/22/2012: Results of Operation Pillar of Defense

During the operation the targeted 1,500 terror sites, 30 senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, 19 high-level command centers, 980 underground rocket launchers, 140 smuggling tunnels, and dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites.

During the eight days of the operation — and in the weeks leading up to it Palestinian terrorist groups fired more than 1,506 rockets at .

Of those 1,506 rockets fired from Gaza, more than 800 rockets struck Israel, damaging homes, schools and other civilian areas. Some of rockets reached the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.

421 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, which saved countless Israeli lives. 152 rockets fired from Gaza crashed back into Gaza.

Top-ranking Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who were targeted included:
Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas’ military wing – targeted on November 14
Hab’s Hassan Us Msamch, senior operative in Hamas’ police – targeted on November 15
Ahmed Abu Jalal, Commander of the military wing in Al-Muazi – targeted on November 16
Khaled Shaer, senior operative in the anti-tank operations – targeted on November 16
Osama Kadi, senior operative in the smuggling operations in the southern Gaza Strip – targeted on November 17
Muhammad Kalb, senior operative in the aerial defense operations – targated on November 17
Ramz Harb, Islamic Jihad senior operative in propaganda in Gaza city – targeted on November 19

11/22/2012: Analysis: If it’s over now, Hamas wins Gaza War – WND
An excellent analysis of the war by Aaron Klein, one of the premiere investigative journalists in the Middle East.

11/22/2012: Until the next time – Times of Israel
‘Until the next time’ is an excellent analysis written by David Horovitz about Operation Pillar of Defense and the future of the prospects of war in the future.

11/22/2012: Obama pushed Israel to accept Egyptian cease-fire agreement friendly to Hamas – Daily Caller
President Barack Obama pressured Israel’s prime minister to adopt a cease-fire agreement with Hamas that was pushed by Hamas’ Egyptian ally, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

11/22/2012: Celebrations in the Gaza Strip continue into the night, as residents mass in the streets, honking car horns, firing guns into the air, making the victory sign with their fingers, and dancing with Palestinian, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad flags.

“The enemy speaks of an exceptional achievement in the Gaza Strip. We simply say that what happened was a decisive and exceptional defeat in the history of the Zionist entity,” Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Shalah says.

“We are bound to the agreement so long as Israel is, and we will protect ourselves all the time,” he added. “Israeli aggression won’t continue without a green light from the Americans. The US’s favoritism towards Israel was unbounded.”

11/22/2012: 20 Rockets fired since ceasefire started.

11/22/2012: Rocket fire tails off, Israel halts airstrikes, as truce takes fragile hold. , Barak and Liberman praise the army and the resilience of the public. A total of 1,506 rockets fired on Israel since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, 3.8% land in populated areas; Iron Dome has 84% success rate, intercepting 421 rockets.

11/22/2012: Terrorist blows up bus in central Tel Aviv; 16 injured – Jerusalem Post
Magen David Adom treat 16 wounded in explosion on Tel Aviv’s Shaul Hamelech Street, police confirm terrorist attack; police searching area for other possible explosive devices; Hamas praises attack.

11/22/2012: Iran expert Meir Javandafar says: “If today’s suicide bomber in Tel Aviv was from Islamic Jihad it would be a strong indication Iran is trying to scuttle ceasefire talks, as it is in Iran’s interest for the current conflict between Gaza and Israel to continue.

“In fact, Iran would very much like to see a ground invasion of Gaza by Israel. This would have several advantages for Iran — it would distract the international community’s attention away from Iran’s nuclear program while causing much damage to Israel’s diplomatic standing, relations with and its economy.”

11/22/2012: Israeli media reports Police searching for suspect in Tel Aviv bus blast. Road blocks set up in the area. (Haaretz)

11/22/2012: At least 10 people wounded in Tel Aviv bus blast, evacuated to Ichilov Hospital. At least five seriously to moderatley wounded, the rest lightly. Police suspect blast was terror-related. (Haaretz)

11/22/2012: Hamas claims responsibility for bus bombing. BBC Correspondent Jon Donnison uploads an audio clip to his feed of cheers and celebratory gunfire in Gaza after the bombing.

Channel 2 News reports Palestinians also celebrating the bombing and “handing out candy” outside Ramallah in the West Bank.

11/22/2012: Breaking: Magen David Adom reported that a bus exploded in Tel Aviv.

11/22/2012: Gaza lynch mob kills 6 ‘Israeli collaborators,’ drags body of one behind motorbike – Global Post

Graphic images have emerged purporting to show a lynch mob dragging the body of alleged Israeli “spies” through the streets of Gaza behind their motorbikes.

The men on the bikes are militants believed to be from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade — Hamas’ armed wing — who publicly executed six men accused of collaborating with Israel.


11/22/2012: IDF Spokesman: In a joint operation, the IDF and Shin Bet intelligence services attacked the floor of a building housing intelligence operation of Hamas’ military wing. Overnight, the IDF also attacked the Hamas Interior Ministry, a central Police compound in Khan Younis, south Gaza. IAF air craft also attacked a Hamas official IAF air craft also attacked Hamas operative identified at a site from which rocket launches towards Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon were carried out, as well as a number of other militant cells engaged in terror activities, the IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

11/21/2012: IDF Spokesman: Hamas Spokesman Urges Palestinian Civilians to Ignore IDF Warnings
A sample of the leaflets dropped by the IDF:
To the residents of Sheikh Ajlin, Tel Al-Hwa, Rimal South, Zeitoun, Sjaiya, Turkeman and Sajiya Jadida: For your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move towards the central Gaza city, via Al-Khara, Jma’at Al Dul Al Arabia, Al Aqsa Al Qudsiya, Um Alaimoun, Salah A-din, Al-Maqsurra, Hal’s Mjdad. In the central Gaza city, you are required to stay between the areas of Salah A-din from the west, Amar Al-Muchtar from the north, Al-Nasser from the east and Al-Quds St. from the south.

A short while ago, the Hamas interior ministry spokesman was interviewed on Al-Quds Radio in Gaza and urged his listeners to ignore the IDF warnings.

Question: As the bombings go on, I want to address a specific issue: People have been receiving text messages urging them to evacuate their houses…

Hamas Interior Ministry Spokesperson: This is all part of the psychological warfare held by the Zionist enemy… So by using this way of communication, our public radio, I address all our Palestinian brothers by saying: Please do not listen to the orders noted on these text messages, their only purpose is spreading fear and panic within our people.

11/21/2012: IAF strikes Gaza, Israel wakes up to Code Red alert – Jerusalem Post
Violence continued overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday morning as the IDF Spokesperson’s Office confirmed airstrikes and naval attacks took place during the night Tuesday, hitting around 100 targets throughout the Gaza Strip. In the South, three rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by the Iron Dome system on Tuesday morning over Ashkelon.

11/20/2012: Hidden Hamas military chief threatens Israel – Times of Israel
In an audio message broadcast by Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV station on Tuesday afternoon, Muhammad Deif, the official commander of the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, praised the conduct of Hamas operatives in the field and expressed hope that the military conflict with Israel would be “a launching point for the coming stage of liberation.”

In the voice recording, Deif tacitly threatened to kidnap IDF soldiers if the army launches a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, in order to trade them for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

11/20/2012: Barrage of 16 rockets fired at Beersheba; 13 intercepted – Jerusalem Post
Some 100 terror targets, including underground rocket launchers, Hamas command posts struck by IDF overnight as Operation Pillar of Defense enters day 7; rocket sirens sound across South despite cease-fire efforts.

11/20/2012: US Secretary of State Clinton to arrive in Israel – Jerusalem Post
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to arrive in Israel Tuesday night. Clinton will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, according to a source.

11/20/2012: Christian Zionists try to ban Hamas from Twitter – Times of Israel
The San Antonio-based Christians United for Israel launched a letter-writing campaign on Monday demanding that Twitter ban Hamas from using its microblogging platform.

11/19/2012: Islamic Jihad leader: Hamas rockets ‘Iranian made’ – Jerusalem Post
The deputy leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziad Nakhleh, has said that rockets fired by Hamas and the “Palestinian resistance” at Israeli towns and cities are of Iranian origin, ’s el-Nashra newspaper reported on Monday.

11/19/2012: CNN: US ships sent to Mediterranean in case of evacuation
The US Navy is returning warships to the eastern Mediterranean in the event that US citizens in Israel will need to be evacuated if the Gaza conflict intensifies, CNN reported on Monday.

The USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall had been en route from the eastern Mediterranean to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday before they were given the order to turn back around, according to the report.

11/19/2012: Turkish Prime Minister: ‘Israel Is A Terrorist State’ – CBS News
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told the Eurasian Islamic Council conference in Istanbul that the Jewish state is systematically mass-killing Muslims.

“Those who associate with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan said, according to Reuters. “For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts.”

11/19/2012: IDF Spokesman: A direct hit was identified on the target. Four senior members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad were known to have been in the media building.

11/19/2012: Israel Takes Over Hamas TV Programming – Arutz Sheva
The Israeli army on Monday took over programming at a Gaza-based Hamas television station “to broadcast warnings” on the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Defense.

11/19/2012: Elite Israeli troops scour Gaza for long-range rockets – Times of Israel
At least 20,000 Israeli soldiers were waiting last night for orders to enter the Gaza Strip and crush the militants of Hamas as special forces already behind enemy lines mounted a frantic search for long-range rockets aimed at Israel.

As Gaza terrorists over the weekend targeted Tel Aviv, a concern for Israeli officials is the threat that Hamas may fit chemical warheads on its long-range Fajr-5 missiles, the newspaper said, quoting an unnamed defense source.

“Hamas might go for a desperate attempt to launch rockets with chemical warheads if the worst came to the worst,” the source said.

11/19/2012: Iran Hacks into Israel’s Military – Reza Kahlili
According to Mashregh, an Iranian media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards, Islamic Jihad’s Beitol Moghadas (Jerusalem) unit obtained detailed information on 5,000 high-ranking Israeli military personnel. The information includes names, telephone numbers, addresses, emails and rankings, even within the Israeli intelligence division.

Reuters reported from Jerusalem Sunday that the Israeli government has come under a massive cyber attack since the Gaza conflict broke out last week. More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on various Israeli government sites since Wednesday.

11/19/2012: IDF Spokesman: A short while ago, a rocket fired from Gaza hit a school in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. School was canceled in morning.

11/19:2012: Palestinians: Israel demands 15-year lull, Morsi guarantee – Ynet News
Some Hamas figures have declared that the ceasefire negotiations have failed, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cessation of rocket fire on Israel is a prerequisite for starting talks, but Palestinian sources who are familiar with Cairo’s efforts to broker a truce said it was too soon to announce that the talks have collapsed.

11/19/2012: Rocket fire on south resumes; 16 killed in Gaza – Ynet News
Following a calm night in south Israel, at least 11 rockets landed in the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regional councils early Monday. There were no reports of injury or damage. The IDF continued to strike Gaza terror hubs.

11/19/2012: IDF Spokesman: 100+ rockets fired from Gaza have crashed back into Gaza in last 5 days. Hamas fires from civilian areas…and hits its own people.

11/19/2012: IDF Spokesman: Last Five Days 848 Rockets Fired from Gaza. 546 Rockets have hit Israel. 302 Rockets Intercepted by Iron Dome.

11/19/2012: IDF Spokesman: IDF has attacked over 1,350 targets in Gaza since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense

11/19:2012: Ha’aretz Poll: More than 90 percent of Israeli Jews support Gaza war, however only 30 percent of the public support ground attack.

11/18/2012: Israel fires on Syria for a third time – USA Today
Israel shelled Syrian fighters after gunfire from their civil war spilled over to the Israel-controlled Golan Heights, the military said Sunday, as the conflict appeared to inch closer to the Jewish state.

11/18/2012: Israel under pressure to reach a ceasefire – UK Telegraph
As the scope of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence was widened to a broader range of targets, increasing the risk of collateral damage, President Barack Obama offered strong support for Israeli’s right to defend itself.

But he demanded ceasefire talks to prevent a “ramping up” of fighting and said it would be “preferrable” for Israel to avoid a military thrust into the densely populated Gaza Strip.

“We’re actively working with all parties in the region to see if we can end those missiles being fired without further escalation of violence in the region,” he said. “If this can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that is preferable.”

11/18/2012: IDF Pinpoint Strike of Underground Launching Site Near Mosque

11/18/2012: IDF: Over 80 terrorist targets struck in Gaza Strip – Jerusalem Post
An IDF spokesman said that during the day Sunday the IDF attacked over eighty terrorist targets, including rocket launching infrastructure and smuggling tunnels.

11/17/2012: Israel destroys HQ of Ismail Haniya as Hamas aims at Tel Aviv and Ashdod – London Times
Israeli tanks shelled Hamas positions today in preparation for a possible ground invasion of Gaza, hours after airstrikes completely destroyed the offices of the Islamist group’s leader.

11/17/2012: Iron Dome intercepts missiles aimed at Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Post
The Iron Dome intercepted two Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles aimed at Tel Aviv on Saturday. The missiles marked the third attack on the heavily populated central city in as many days, after Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired four missiles toward the financial capital on Thursday and Friday, prompting red alert air raid sirens to sound in the city.

11/17/2012: Iran Admits Pulling Strings on Gaza Crisis – Reza Kahlili
According to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division, Iran has large stockpiles of chemical and microbial weapons and it has armed the Lebanese terrorist group with them. It also has Quds Forces in Gaza and other Palestinian territories to help Hamas and Islamic Jihad in setting up underground rocket facilities while training and supervising the Palestinians in launching attacks on Israel.

The escalation of the Gaza conflict was ordered by the highest authority in Iran, the source added, and rockets targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are in fact a warning to Israel that its Iron Dome missile defense system cannot thwart Iran’s ballistic missiles and tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands of Hezbollah.

11/17/2012: Politicians demand gov’t present exit strategy – Jerusalem Post
With a maximum of 75,000 reserve troops approved and soldiers amassing along the Gaza border, politicians in the opposition on Saturday demanded an exit strategy ahead of a possible ground operation.

11/16/2012: Home Front Command: Prepare for 7 Weeks of Fighting – Ynet News
In discussions held between Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, regional commanders and heads of local authorities in the center and in the south, authorities have been instructed to prepare for a seven-week period of combat as part of Operation Pillar of Defense and to prepare emergency supplies, accordingly.

11:16/2012: Muslim Brotherhood’s Anti-Israel Protests in Cairo -Egypt Independent
Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets Friday protesting Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, waving Palestinian flags across the Egyptian capital and demanding the Egyptian government cut ties with Israel.

“We’re here today to say to Israel: Go to Hell,” said Mustafa Kamel from a Cairo neighborhood called Imbaba at a demonstration outside Al-Azhar Mosque that was planned by the Muslim Brotherhood. “Muslims are strong. In Egypt, we refuse Israel and the politics of America.”

11/16/2012: Two rockets land outside Jerusalem; two fired at Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Post
Hamas fires on capital for first time, Tel Aviv for second day in a row; no injuries or damage reported in either attack.

11/16:2012: Israel Warns of Escalation After Tel Aviv Missile Firing – Bloomberg
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak signaled that Israel is ready to escalate its military operations against Gaza after at least one long-range missile was fired at Tel Aviv by Palestinian militants.

11/15/2012: IDF calling up reserves ahead of possible Gaza ground operation – Times of Israel
The IDF has called up a limited number of reserve soldiers ahead of a possible ground incursion into Gaza as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Thursday.

11/14/2012: Israel has ‘opened the gates of hell’: Hamas warning as leader is killed in strike – UK Telegraph
As Israel and Gaza teeter on the brink of war, with Hamas warning that an air strike that killed Ahmad Jabari, the head of its military wing, has “opened the gates of hell”, the Telegraph’s Phoebe Greenwood reports the horrors in Gaza City.

11/14/2012: Bibi and Barak Lulled Hamas into Complacency – Arutz Sheva
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the Golan Heights and discussed the situation in in order to give Hamas a false sense of safety. This move may have lulled Ahmed Jaabari into lowering his guard enough to enable an IAF strike on his car. In any case, the ability to hit Jaabari is an intelligence coup.

Minister Benny Begin also took part in the deception of Hamas. He went on the radio in the morning to say that the current round of escalation had ended.

11/14/2012: Profile of a terrorist: Ahmed Jabari – Jerusalem Post
Ahmed Said Khalil Jabari was the most-senior Hamas official to be killed by Israel since Operation Cast Lead four years ago.

Jabari, officially the second in command of Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades, but its de facto leader, has long been at the top of Israel’s most wanted list.

He has been credited with making the terrorist group’s military wing increasingly more professional.

It was Jabari who personally oversaw the kidnapping and imprisonment of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

11/14/2012: Israeli air strike kills top Hamas commander Jabari – Jerusalem Post

11/13/2012: IDF Spokesman: More than 120 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel over the past 3 days.

11/11/2012: IDF Spokesman: Over 100 rockets have hit Israel in the past 2 days.

11/11/2012: Rockets fired from Gaza strikes direct hit to home in Sderot. 10 Rockets hit Israel in the past 2 hours alone.

11/11/2012: 77 Rockets that have hit Israel since yesterday. 45 Rockets that have hit today. 15 seconds you have to find shelter if you live near Gaza.

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