Posted by Emily Gian on 15 November 2012 at 1:14pm:
Since Saturday, Palestinian terrorists from Gaza have fired over 120 rockets into Southern Israel, sending over 1 million Israeli citizens into bomb shelters. When a “Code Red” siren goes off, citizens have just 15 seconds to get to some sort of safety. Earlier this year, the IDF put this in perspective with this picture and its caption, “the world’s fastest men run 200 meters in under 20 seconds. If they’re that far from a shelter when a rocket alarm sounds in Southern Israel, they won’t make it to safety in time”. As one brave Israeli woman posted on twitter, “I just had the pleasure of shielding my children with my body in the gutter during a siren, next to a mom of 4 doing the same”. From the safety of Australia, it is hard to imagine how the mothers and fathers of southern cities such as Sderot would feel each time a siren sounds.
As a result of this latest round of rockets being launched into Israel, the IDF targeted and killed Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing, in the Gaza Strip. “The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure. This was a surgical operation in cooperation with the Israeli Security Agency, that was implemented on the basis of concrete intelligence and using advanced capabilities” (see more). The video below shows just how precise the hit on his car war.
Ahmed Jabri was responsible for overseeing the imprisonment of Gilad Shalit, who was held for over 5 years in terrorist captivity. He openly boasted that the 477 prisoners released in the first stage of the Gilad Shalit deal were “collectively responsible for the deaths of 569 Israeli civilians” (see more). He has been responsible for countless attacks against Israelis.
Back in 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian elections, Jibri declared “Brave Jihad fighters, You sacrifice your souls for the sake of Allah, until the rats [i.e. Israelis] return to their holes. Today Gaza [was liberated by Hamas], and tomorrow, by Allah’s will, Jerusalem, and tomorrow the West Bank, and then Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Until the liberation of the homeland, all of Palestine”.
Following the hit on Jibri, the IDF posted this picture, with the ominous warning on social media, “we recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead” (see more). In what could only happen in a world of social media, Hamas’ military wing, the al Qassam Brigade tweeted in response “Occupation opened hell gates on itself”. Their twitter page is not the most reliable, considering their tweet from a few hours ago where they declared “Breaking News: Al Qassam Brigades shelling the occupied city of “Tel Aviv” with one homemade projectile for the first time >> more is coming” (see more). Israel’s IDF twitter responded immediately, “Clarification: No rockets were fired from Gaza on Tel-Aviv. Hamas propaganda is constantly spreading misinformation”.
The attack on Jibri is just the beginning of a widespread campaign by the IDF against terrorist targets in Gaza. “The operation, called Pillar of Defence (in Hebrew “Pillar of Cloud”), has two main goals: to protect Israeli civilians and to cripple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza” (see more).
This video shows Palestinian terrorists unloading Fajr-5 rockets (a long range missile capable of threatening the lives of 3.5 million Israeli civilians) and concealing them in an underground launch site. Israel’s Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak said that in the first hour of the operation, Israel destroyed most of Hamas’ Fajr missiles (see more).
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement declaring “Today we hit Hamas strategic targets precisely. We have significantly debilitated their ability to launch rockets from Gaza to the centre of Israel, and we are now working to disable their ability to launch rockets towards the south. The terrorist organisations – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others – are deliberately harming our citizens, while intentionally hiding behind their citizens. On the other hand, we avoid harming civilians as much as possible and that is one fundamental difference between us. It also indicates the big difference between our objectives, and not only in our methods. They want to obliterate us from the face of the earth and they have no qualms about hurting civilians and innocents” (see more).
Prime Minister Netanyahu raises a very interesting point in regards to the objectives and the methods employed by both sides. This aerial map shows a launch site of some of the rockets that have been fired into Israel.
As you can see, it is in close proximity to a mosque and other civilian structures. This is in line with Hamas’ usual modus operandi of operating from civilian areas. We saw countless examples of this during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.
Meanwhile, the US State Department released a statement declaring, “We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organisations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties” (see more).
And in a strong message about Hamas’ aims they continued, “Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self-determination”.
News Limited has an article up at the moment entitled ‘Life in Sderot fifteen seconds from death as Israel and Gaza on the brink of war’. It helps to explain just how difficult it is for Israel’s southern citizens to deal with the daily attack of rockets. Meanwhile, Ruth Pollard has produced a standard piece along the lines of, ‘it all began when Israel fired back’ with an online piece entitled ‘War fears as Israel kills Hamas commander’. I will devote a piece tomorrow to the media coverage as it hits the newspapers.
Meanwhile, the UN has called an emergency closed meeting with representatives from the Israeli Palestinian missions. More details to come.
As things are changing literally from minute to minute, there are some fantastic online resources that are being constantly updated that I would like to draw your attention to:
Zionist Federation of Australia – a special page dedicated entirely to various resources from around the web.
Official Statements (From Israeli Embassy in Canberra)
Situation Update (From Israeli Embassy in Canberra)
For those of you on twitter, there are a few good resources to follow:
Avital Leibovich (Official IDF Spokesperson
For those on Facebook, “Like” the following pages:
For those that would like to hear more about the conflict, the Zionist Council of Victoria will be hosting a public forum TONIGHT with Ma’ariv journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, which will take place at Beth Weizmann Community Centre at 8pm. For more information, contact 9272 5544. Ben-Dror appeared on ABC television this morning, to watch a video, click here.
We will be organising a solidarity event that will take place in the next few days. Details will be sent as soon as possible. For those that attend tonight’s event, we will have more details for you then.
Please wear red to show your solidarity to the residents of Southern Israel, who are currently spending a restless night in bomb shelters. I will be in touch as more information becomes available.
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