Israel's Defense Against Terror from Gaza

Daily Update: July 28, 2014

On July 8, the IDF embarked on Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket attacks against Israel’s civilians. On July 17, following ten days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation, the IDF initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip.

Recent Developments

  • Five IDF soldiers were killed today, raising the number of Israeli military fatalities in Operation Protective Edge to 48. Three civilians have been killed as well, and more than 100 soldiers are currently hospitalized due to wounds incurred in the fighting.
  • The U.N. Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, joining a similar call by U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday evening. Speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama urged Israel to implement an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.”
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that international efforts to seek a truce between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza must lead to the disarmament of Hamas. “We also believe that any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza in a lasting and meaningful way must lead to the disarmament of Hamas and all terrorist groups,” Kerry said.
  • The IDF conducted a comprehensive inquiry into the incident last week in which a UNRWA school was fired upon, finding that IDF mortars did not play a role in the killing of 16 people in the school courtyard. It concluded that Hamas terrorists had fired anti-tank missiles at IDF soldiers from within the school complex, and the soldiers fired several mortar rounds in response. One IDF mortar fell in a yard near the school, which was empty, according to the IDF.
  • The IDF has uncovered 32 tunnels so far in its ground operations in Gaza, with more than 60 different access shafts to those tunnels, according to IDF reports. Tunnel entrances have been found in houses and mosques. The IDF believes there are dozens more tunnels near the border, in various stages of readiness.
  • Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Israel has continued to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian supplies and goods into Gaza. More than 970 truckloads of goods have entered since the start of the operation.
  • Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Israel has continued to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian supplies and goods into Gaza. More than 1,248 truckloads of goods have entered Gaza since the start of the operation.
  • Israel continues to facilitate energy imports to Gaza for UNRWA, the Gaza power station, and domestic use. Total imports since the start of the operation include: 344,000 liters for UNWRA, 4.44 million liters of diesel for the power station, and 2.816 million barrels of fuel and 693,000 liters of benzene for transportation.

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge on July 8:

  • 2,538 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza
  • 1,875 rockets have struck Israel
  • 495 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome

Talking Points

  1. Hamas is relentlessly firing rockets at Israel.
    Since the beginning of July, Palestinian terrorists have fired over 500 missiles and projectiles at Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Through constant missile barrages, terrorist infiltrations and cyber-attacks, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist factions have waged physical and psychological warfare against Israel’s civilian population.

  2. Israel is exercising its legitimate right of self-defense.
    Israel has exercised its right to protect itself by undertaking military action that is has dubbed Operation Protective Edge. Israel made several efforts to defuse the situation, but Hamas rebuffed every Israeli feeler.  

  3. America must stand with Israel.
    It is critical for the United States to reiterate its support for its ally Israel, including its right to live in peace and to defend itself.  “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.