Israel Begins “Pillar of Defense” In Response To Hamas Attacks From Gaza

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – In the last week alone, Hamas, a terrorist organization, has launched 150 rockets at Israel’s south. Currently, 15% of Israel’s population is currently under a terrorist attack.

Israel cannot tolerate the escalation of rocket fire aimed at its citizens.

To impair the terrorist infrastructure, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded with targeted strikes against those responsible.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) seriously impacted Hamas’s long-range missile capabilities and underground weapons storage facilities. The IAF has acted restrained and surgical in its response to the Hamas missile escalations, and has not targeted the long-range missiles stored in mosques, schools, and hospitals. Hamas, conversely, is deliberately firing at Israeli civilian population centers, including schools, hospitals and houses of worship.

More after the jump.  
Hamas rockets fired at Israeli civilians in the past have had a range of up to 25 miles. Today, the IDF targeted the Fajr-5, which has a range of nearly 40 miles, putting three million Israelis within terrorist missile range. This additional range encompasses the major metropolitan area of Tel Aviv.

As part of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel eliminated Ahmed al-Jabri, the head of the Hamas military wing, who joined Hamas in 1995 and rose to a senior leadership position in 2004. He was directly involved in numerous terrorist attacks against Israel, including the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

“We are sending an unequivocal message that our citizens will not be hostage to terrorist missile fire and cross-border attacks,” Ambassador Michael Oren said. “The scope of the IDF’s defensive operation depends on Hamas and whether it takes the decision to cease firing missiles on our neighborhoods and homes. Israel has the right and duty to defend itself from terrorist attacks designed to kill thousands of its citizens.”

Consul General to the Mid-Atlantic Region in Philadelphia, Mr. Yaron Sideman commented, “We are not acting in a vacuum. In the past 24 hours, Israel has endured 120 missiles fired indiscriminately at our nation. In the past year, over 800 missiles were fired. In 2009, over 2500 missiles were fired at our citizens. Israel showed much restraint to numerous attacks. “
 

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  1. Publisher says

    Today, the President spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Morsi about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating violence in Gaza.

    The President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians.  The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.  The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate.  The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days.  Earlier today, Vice President Biden received a briefing from Prime Minister Netanyahu on the events in Gaza.

    The President also spoke with President Morsi given Egypt’s central role in preserving regional security.  In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of working to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible and agreed to stay in close touch in the days ahead.

  2. David Streeter says

    — by David Streeter

    The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) stands with Israel as it exercises its sovereign right to respond to the rocket attacks launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Israeli people and the brave men and women in Israel’s Defense Forces who are working to ensure their security.

    We are proud to see that the Obama Administration has forcefully condemned Hamas’ terrorist attacks and reiterated its support for Israel’s right to defend itself. We are also deeply gratified to see that President Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres conferred about the situation this afternoon — an action that is a testament to the deep strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    In addition, we are relieved to see that the Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted many incoming rockets, helping to save Israeli lives and property as well.  

  3. Sharon Bender says

    — by Sharon Bender, B’nai B’rith International

    In the wake of the Israel Defense Forces’ “surgical strike” that targeted the commander of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, B’nai B’rith International stands in solidarity with Israel and supports the country’s right to defend itself.

    The IDF attack on the well-known terrorist comes days after more than 100 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, damaging homes, factories and injuring Israeli citizens.

    The missile fire on Jabari appears to be the first move in a campaign by the IDF called “Operation Pillar of Defense.” The operation’s purpose is to single out operatives and damage military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip that pose a security risk to the Jewish state.

    No nation should have to endure and constantly defend itself against terrorist attacks. Because it is a government’s primary responsibility to protect its citizens, disrupting terrorist activities is a responsible and called for measure. For these reasons, B’nai B’rith supports the IDF for commencing military operations that focus on damaging those groups perpetrating violence against Israel.

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