Operation Pillar of Defense: Days 3-8

IDF targeted terror sites including rocket launchers, terror tunnels, and Hamas command centers, as rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza

Date: 21/11/2012, 9:07 AM     Author: IDF Website

8:56 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted a terror squad that was preparing to launch rockets at Israel. In addition, the IDF targeted Hamas scouting positions.

8:33 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted 3 terror tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip and 2 underground rocket launchers in the north.

6:30 p.m.: 4 IDF soldiers were wounded in the Eshkol Regional Council, details forthcoming.

6:20 p.m.: Over the course of the day, IDF targeted over 50 terror sites, including underground rocket launchers, smuggling tunnels and terror tunnels. Several buildings that belong to senior Hamas operatives and serve as command and control centers were also targeted.
 
Additionally, a number of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror squads that were involved in promoting terror activity, such as launching rockets at Israel, were targeted.
 
Armored and Artillery Forces fired towards open areas in the Gaza Strip.
 
This morning, Erez Crossing was opened for the crossing of diplomats, and medical supplies, which usually pass through Kerem Shalom, were transferred to the residents of the Gaza Strip via the Crossing. The Kerem Shalom Crossing was closed yesterday, due to rockets fire.
 
The Gaza Strip has been turned into a forward base for Iran, forcing Israeli citizens to live under unbearable circumstances.
 
The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months.
 
The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens.

2:55 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF struck targets in the northern Gaza Strip, targeting an underground rocket launcher and 5 terror operatives who were preparing to launch rockets at Israel.

Over the course of the day, 42 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel. In addition, the Iron Dome has intercepted 20 rockets.

2:00 a.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted 3 Hamas terror operatives in the southern Gaza Strip, who were preparing to launch rockets at Israel.

11:35 a.m.: This morning, the IDF targeted 43 terror tunnels throughout the Gaza Strip and an underground rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip. An additional terror operative was targeted by the Israeli Navy in the southern Gaza Strip.

10:49 a.m.: Ealier today, the IDF targeted an underground rocket launcher asnd a Hamas terror operative who intended to fire rockets in Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip.

9:06 a.m.: Earlier this morning, IDF forces targeted several hideouts used by Hamas operatives to manufacture rockets. A direct hit was confirmed

7:14 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted over 100 terror sites, including dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip.

The targets included the Ministry of Internal Security – which served as one of the main command and control centers for the Hamas terror organization – as well as an important police compound and a military hideout used as both a meeting place for senior operatives and a communications center. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted a rocket launching site, a Hamas post, and a structure used for Hamas' terror activity.
 
In a joint IDF-ISA mission, the IDF targeted, in a pinpoint strike, a Hamas intelligence operations center, which was deliberately located in a media building in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a senior Hamas operative in the aerial defense operations, several terrorist squads, and a terrorist who was identified at the launching site from which a rocket was fired towards Jerusalem yesterday.

Furthermore, the IDF targeted approximately 50 underground rocket launchers, terror tunnels, three weapons storage facilities, and a weapons manufacturing site. The IDF also targeted a system of tunnels used to transport fuel to Hamas, as Hamas had used the transported fuel to support its terror activities.

The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens.

4:59 a.m.: The IDF has released a video recapping the seventh day of Operation Pillar of Defense.

4:53 a.m.: Since midnight today (Wednesday, November 21), the Iron Dome Active Defense System has intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza toward populated areas in Israel.

12:33 a.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted a Hamas intelligence operations center on the seventh floor of a media building in Gaza. A direct hit was confirmed.

Tuesday, November 20

11:05 p.m.: During the course of the evening, the IDF continued targeting dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including a bank used to finance Hamas operatives, a site in the southern Gaza Strip used to launch terror attacks, a Hamas command and control center in the northern Gaza Strip, a military hideout, and a meeting place used by senior operatives.
 
In addition, the IDF targeted tunnels containing explosives, four weapons storage facilities, and two weapons manufacturing facilities. The IDF also targeted a system of tunnels used to transport gas to Hamas, as Hamas had used the transported gas to support its terror activities. Furthermore, IAF aircraft targeted several terror operatives, as well as terrorist squads that were preparing to fire anti-tank missiles towards Israel. Israeli Navy soldiers and Israel Air Force aircraft targeted several rocket launching sites and seven underground rocket launchers.
 
The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens.

10:53 p.m.: Since Operation Pillar of Defense began last Wednesday (November 14), 809 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, while the Iron Dome Active Defense System has intercepted 389.

The IDF has targeted over 1,450 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip in the past seven days.

10:21 p.m.: The IDF has released a video showing the IAF's targeting of a weapons smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip. The video shows secondary explosions at the site, indicating that ammunition was hidden there. Click here to watch the video.

9:48 p.m.: In the past two hours, the IDF has targeted 20 terror operatives in the Gaza Strip.

9:40 p.m.: In the past 30 minutes, the IDF has targeted 13 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip, including underground rocket launchers.

9:07 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted two terror operatives in the central Gaza Strip.

8:58 p.m.: In the past hour, the IDF has targeted 20 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip.

8:35 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted an Islamic Jihad-affiliated terror activity site. Yunas Shluf, an operative who was responsible for rocket fire on the southern Israeli city of Eilat a few months ago, was hit.

8:14 p.m.: Cpl. Yosef Fartuk (18), of Emmanuel, was killed this afternoon by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hit the Eshkol Regional Council.

Cpl. Fartuk's family has been notified. He has been promoted to the rank of Corporal following his death.

7:38 p.m.: An hour ago, the IDF targeted two Islamic Jihad-affiliated terrorists in the Central Gaza Strip.

6:08 p.m.: A short while ago, a rocket fired from Gaza directly struck a building in the central Israeli city of Rishon LeZion.

Residential building in Rishon LeZion hit by rocket fired from Gaza

Residential building in Rishon LeZion hit by rocket fired from Gaza

6:01 p.m.: Earlier this afternoon, the IDF targeted a terrorist squad adjacent to a structure used as a weapon storage facility and as a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip.

Also, the IDF targeted a terrorist squad in the northern Gaza Strip.

5:30 p.m.: In the last hour, the IDF has targeted 13 terrorists within the Gaza Strip. 17 terrorists have been targeted over the course of the day.

4:48 p.m.: The IDF has distributed leaflets over the Gaza Strip warning Gaza's civilians to stay away from Hamas and other terror organization's operatives and positions. Below is the content of the leaflets.
 
The first leaflet:
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.
 
The second leaflet:
 
To the residents of of the outskirts of Shati, Al-Atatra, Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun: for your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move  towards central Gaza city via Al-Falujah, Al-Udda and Salah A-din. In the central Gaza city, you are required to stay between the roads 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.

Hamas has told Gaza's civilians to ignore these pamphlets via radio, endangering their own citizens. 

4:25 p.m.: A short while ago, 5 IDF soldiers were wounded by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Details forthcoming.

2:35 p.m.: Over the course of the morning, the IDF targeted eleven terrorist squads who were involved in promoting terrorist activity including the planting of explosive devices and the firing of rockets towards southern Israel. In addition, the IDF targeted 30 underground rocket launchers, as well as a senior terror operative's hiding place which was used to store weapons and ammunition. As a result severe damage was inflicted upon the rocket launching capabilities and weapon storage facilities owned by terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, tank shells and artillery fire were used.

In the past hour, the IDF has targeted a terrorist squad in the southern Gaza Strip, which was preparing to fire an anti-tank missile towards Israel. In addition, artillery shells were fired towards the area from which rockets were fired earlier at the Eshkol Regional Council.
The Gaza Strip has been turned into a forward base for Iran, forcing Israeli citizens to live under unbearable circumstances.
 
The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months.
 
The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against the State of Israel and its citizens.

2:30 p.m.: Reports indicate that the rocket fell outside Jerusalem in a Palestinian village.

2:16 p.m.: Moments ago, rocket alarms went off in Jerusalem for the second time this week. Details forthcoming.

12:05 p.m.: Due to rocket fire in the immediate area, the Kerem Shalom crossing will remain closed for the rest of the day. 24 trucks of humanitarian aid managed to make it through the crossings prior to the rocket strikes.

 11:50 a.m.: A short while ago, an IDF soldier was wounded in a rocket attack in southern Israel, details forthcoming.

10:35 a.m.: Kerem Shalom opened this morning to allow the transfer of 120 trucks humanitarian aid. However, in the morning's rocket volley, the crossing was targeted. The IDF was forced to temporarily close the crossing to ensure the safety of all those working at the crossing and passing through it.

 9:30 a.m.: IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai attributed the morning's volley of rockets to Hamas, as opposed yesterday's rocket fire that was attributed to Islamic Jihad Popular Resistance Committees. Explanation for this morning's relatively heavy rocket fire could come from the severity of the air strikes in Gaza during the night or it could be a show of strength ahead of negotiations for a cease fire.

IDF Spokesperson noted that this morning, in the Atatra neighborhood, two rocket launching cells were destroyed. "During the night we attacked and hit one hundred targets, including a financial center controlled by Hamas. We also struck the house of several senior officers within the terror organizations, of the rank of company commander and battalion commander. We struck a number of smuggling tunnels, along with 6 underground launch sites," said Brig. Gen. Mordecahi.

Yesterday, the IDF killed 12 terrorists during our operation over the Gaza Strip. The bulk of rocket fire is now coming from densely populated areas in the north of the city and from within refugee camps. According the IDF Spokesman, "We assume the rocket fire will continue today, and with it we will continue strike these cells. We will continue to operate even in these areas, and will adjust the armament used in order to avoid harm to innocent bystanders." Brig. Gen. Mordechai addressed yesterday's strike against the Gaza media building, saying a warm room had been set up by the Islamic Jihad. "We know that one of the four activists in the room was killed and the other three were wounded," he said.  

6:40 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 100 terror sites, including underground rocket launchers, terror tunnels and ammunition storage facilities.

The IDF has targeted several buildings that were used by terror operatives as command and control centers, as well as approximately ten terror tunnels that were used as hideouts by Hamas operatives.                                          

A financial institution used by Hamas to fuel its terror activity was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Navy targeted terror sites on the central Gaza shore line. Direct hits were identified. Additionally, IDF soldiers carried out artillery fire towards suspicious areas within the Gaza Strip.

2:45 a.m.: The IDF has released a video showing the life of reservists mobilized in the south. Click here to watch the video.

1:30 a.m.: The IDF has a released a video recapping the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, view the video below.

 

 

12:10 a.m.: The IDF has released another video of pilots delaying airstrikes due to uninvolved civilians in the area. Click here to watch the video and read about how the IDF takes care to avoid harming Gaza's civilians.

 

Monday, November 19

11:20 p.m.: Over the course of the day, the IDF caused severe damage to dozens of targets, including underground rocket launchers, a training facility, ammunition storage facilities, Hamas police stations and several terrorist squads that were responsible for firing rockets at Israel.
 
Additionally, a vehicle that was used for transporting rockets belonging to Hamas was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was identified
 
In the southern Gaza Strip, over 50 smuggling tunnels were targeted.
 
Hamas has turned the Gaza strip into a forward base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances.
 
The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months.
 
The IDF is determined to continue targeting terror activity sites that are used to carry out attacks against the citizens of Israel.

10:20 p.m.: Today, 67 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel. Since the beginning of the operation over 650 rockets have struck Israel. The Iron Dome system has intercepted over 340 additional rockets, all on their way towards densely populated civilian areas, achieving a 90% success rate.

6:45 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF released a video showing pilots aborting airstrikes due to uninvolved civilians in the area. Click here to watch the video and read about how the IDF takes care to avoid harming Gaza's civilians.

5:05 p.m.: A short while ago, in a joint IDF- ISA operation, the IDF targeted a hideout used by senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives, who were a part of the terror organization's rocket launching operations, in the northern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was identified.
 
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives, who were involved in firing rockets at Israel, were inside a civilian media building when it was targeted.
 
This is a further example of how terror organizations cynically use those inside civilian populated institutions as human shields.
 
Baha Abu al-Ata, a member of the Higher Military Council, is the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Gaza City Brigade and is involved in orchestrating rocket launching and terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Al-Ata is also involved in the manufacturing of arms and firing long-range rockets at Israel.
 
Tissir Mahmoud Mahmedd Jabari was born in 1972 and is a resident of Sajaiya Turkman, Gaza City. Jabari is a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, a member of the Higher Military Council and Head of the organization's operation branch. Previously, Jabari was the Gaza City Regional Commander for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was involved in carrying out various terror attacks against Israel, including massive rocket fire and attacks against IDF soldiers. Jabari holds responsibility for training within the organization and gives approval for the carrying out of terror attacks.

Halil Batini is amongst the senior operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He is a key figure within the long-range rocket launching operations and responsible for internal security.

Ramaz Harab, born in 1976, resident of Shujaiyya Jadida, responsible for the propaganda in the Gaza City brigade, an aide to Tissir Jabari, formerly head of the Sheikh Rajuan Division.

1:40 p.m.: This morning, the IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai addressed the Israeli press at a briefing. He spoke of IDF activites overnight, including progress the IDF has made in reducing the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians:

"Yesterday saw a decrease of 40% in the number if rockets fired on our territory from the day before, continuing a downward trend. During the night we made 100 attacks, including the bombing of 40 smuggling tunnels between Rafah and the Sinai Desert. We bombed both the opening of the tunnels and along the course of the tunnels ensuring a long process of reconstruction.

In addition, in the last 12 hours we have struck 6 squads in the midst of launching rockets. We attacked a stadium in Gaza City after receiving verified information of a launch from within the stadium, again showing the terrorists' continued use of civilian centers. In an effort to warn the residents and innocent bystanders and keep them away from strikes, we are, at this moment, controlling the radio stations within Gaza in order to deliver these messages to the civilians."

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that most of the rockets currently being fired at Israel are being fired from within Gaza City, a densely populated area.

10:20 a.m.: Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, 546 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel. The Iron Dome system has intercepted an additional 302 rockets. Furthermore, over 100 rockets fired from Gaza have landed within the Gaza Strip, injuring their own civilians.

7:10 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 80 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including underground rocket launching sites, terror tunnels, and training bases, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating out of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF targeted buildings owned by senior terrorist operatives, used as command posts and weapon storage facilities. IAF aircraft, with the support of Israeli Navy soldiers, targeted several Hamas police headquarters throughout the Gaza Strip. The IDF also targeted several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads as they prepared to fire rockets towards Israel, including the squad responsible for firing rockets towards the community of Nahal Oz earlier this morning.
 
The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 1,350 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has turned the Gaza strip into a front-line base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances. The IDF is determined to continue targeting terror activity sites that are used to carry out attacks against the citizens of Israel.

1:57 a.m.: Correction: Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted 290 rockets fired from Gaza, preventing them from hitting populated areas in Israel.

1:02 a.m.: The IDF has released a video recapping the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense.

 

Sunday, November 18

11:30 p.m.: A short while ago, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System intercepted three rockets launched from Gaza toward major Israeli population centers.

7:45 p.m.: The IDF has released a video of the reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossings, click here to watch the video.

6:45 p.m.: Moments ago, a rocket alarm sounded in Tel Aviv. Initial reports indicate that the Iron Dome system intercepted the rocket over Tel Aviv.

5:25 p.m.: Over the course of the day, the IDF has targeted over 50 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including under-ground rocket launching sites and terror tunnels, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
 
Furthermore, the IDF targeted Hamas' operational communication infrastructures in the northern Gaza Strip, which are used for issuing orders to operatives as well as the spreading of propaganda.
 
In addition, the IDF targeted a launching site, from which a rocket was fired towards the city of Tel Aviv, as well as several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads.
 
This morning, Erez crossing and Kerem-Shalom crossing were opened for the passage of diplomatic personnel and supplies in order to preserve a daily routine for the residents of the Gaza Strip.
 
Hamas, the terrorist organization which controls the Gaza Strip, has turned it into a forward base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances.

The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

4:30 p.m.: Since Operation Defensive Pillar began on Wednesday, November 14th, 544 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel. In addition, the Iron Dome system has intercepted over 300 rockets headed towards densely populated areas.

3:05 p.m.: The IDF has released a video of the two strikes on Hamas operational communication sites that took place last night. As mentioned in an earlier announcement, strikes surgically targeted communications equipment on the roof, avoiding both civilian and Hamas offices in the lower floors. The IDF targeted these sites to disrupt the internal communications of Hamas, who were using the equipment on these buildings to direct attacks against Israeli civilians. Watch the strike in the video below.

 

 

 

2:35 p.m.: The IDF has a released a video of a pinpoint strike on a rocket launching site that was hidden alongside a mosque. The IAF conducted a succesful strike without damaging the mosque. Click here to watch the video.

12:40 p.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted two Hamas operational communication sites that were identified by precise intelligence.
 
The first site was targeted at approximately 01:40 a.m. and was a part of Hamas' operational communications infrastructure, located inside a civilian building. As a result, and in order to minimize the damage to non involved persons, the IDF only targeted the communication devices which were located on the roof of the building, and not the operations room of Hamas that is located on one of the floors.
 
The second site was targeted at approximately 06:50 a.m. and was also part of Hamas' operational communications that was deliberately located on the roof of the building, in which several international media bureaus reside. 
 
The IDF calls on international journalists and correspondents who operate in the Gaza Strip carrying out their duties, to stay clear of Hamas' bases and facilities- which serve them in their activity against the citizens of Israel.

11:35 a.m.: Hamas and terror organizations in the Gaza Strip have continued to launch an endless stream rockets towards Israel. However, not all the rockets launched reach Israeli airspace. Since the beginning of the operation, 98 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip have exploded within Gaza.

11:05 a.m.: Today, despite continued rocket fire over Israel, the Kerem Shalom crossing reopened to allow the transfer of humanitarian aid into gaza. 124 trucks of goods entered the Gaza Strip carrying medical supplies, food, milk, and gas. 

10:40 a.m.: Confirmed, Iron Dome intercepted the rocket fired at Tel Aviv a few minutes ago.

10:35 a.m.: Moments ago, rocket alarms sounded in Tel Aviv, details forthcoming.

7:08 a.m.: Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted dozens of underground rocket launchers, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations.

A short while ago, two sites in the northern Gaza Strip were targeted: Saraya – a Hamas primary training base and command center – and a communications antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity against the State of Israel. A number of training bases owned by Hamas were also targeted throughout the Gaza Strip. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted terror sites on the northern Gaza shoreline.

The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has turned it into a front line base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances. The IDF is determined to continue targeting terror activity sites that are used to carry out attacks against the citizens of Israel.

6:19 a.m.: Correction: Since Operation Pillar of Defense began on Wednesday (November 14), nearly 500 rockets fired from Gaza have landed in Israel.

In addition, the Iron Dome Active Defense System has intercepted 267 rockets. The IDF has targeted over 1,000 terror sites in the Gaza Strip during the operation.

3:10 a.m.: A short while ago, Israeli Navy forces targeted several Hamas terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip.

2:16 a.m.: A short while ago, the IDF targeted two smuggling tunnels belonging to terror groups in Gaza.

12:45 a.m. Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, over 500 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel. In addition, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted 257 rockets, preventing them from striking populated areas.

Since the operation began on Wednesday (October 14), the IDF has targeted approximately 950 terror sites in the Gaza Strip.

Saturday, November 17

7:30 p.m.: Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, 492 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel. In addition, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted 245 rockets, preventing them from striking populated areas.

7:10 p.m.: A short while ago, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo addressed the media regarding Operation Pillar of Defense. "In recent days, we have continued with our orderly plans against terror in the Gaza Strip," he said. "I praise Israel's civilians on the courage that they have shown and its soldiers on their determination. This is a joint operation of the branches and security forces. We have not yet finished the operation, but we have hit most of the arsenal of weapons that are directed against our citizens."

"We have begun the operation because it was impossible to maintain normalcy in southern Israel," he continued. "We will continue this operation until we reach the goals that we have set for ourselves – normalcy for the residents of the south and damage to the arsenal of weapons of the terror organizations. We are operating precisely against the terror organizations, as Hamas continues to operate against our civilians. Most of the weaponry of the terror organizations is stored in residential houses, from which they launch the missiles and the rockets against Israel."

6:04 p.m.: Over the course of the day, IAF aircraft continued to target dozens of terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including terror tunnels, rocket launching sites and several squads that were involved in launching rockets at Israel.
 
A short while ago in a joint IDF-ISA activity, a senior Hamas operative in charge of the terror organization's smuggling operations, and who was actively involved in its armament build-up was targeted in the southern Gaza Strip. Additionally, this morning, the senior member of Hamas' Air Defense Unit, Mohammed Kaleb, was targeted in the southern Gaza Strip. In addition, a major Hamas base in the southern Gaza Strip was targeted.
 
The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months.

 Since the beginning of the operation, more than 400 rockets have hit Israeli territory. Today, 5 civilians and 4 IDF soldiers were injured by rocket fire.
 
The Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted a long-range rocket above the greater Tel Aviv area, adding to more than 240 interceptions since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.
 
 5:20 p.m.: The IDF recently released a video of a strike carried out on a top Hamas commander's house this morning. When IAF aircraft targeted the house of Ahmed Randor – chief of Hamas' northern command – a number of secondary explosions ensued, indicating that explosives were stored in the building. Click here to watch the video.

4:45 p.m.: Confirmed, the newly deployed Iron Dome battery in Gush Dan had its first succesful interception, intercepting a rocket bound for the Tel Aviv area. The rocket is responsible for the alarms that sounded in Tel Aviv minutes ago.

4:40 p.m.: Moments ago, rocket alarms sounded in Tel Aviv, details forthcoming.

3:30 p.m.: Commander of the Combat  Engineering Corps has spoken about his unit's preparations for a possible ground operation. In addition to the infantry forces gathering near Gaza, the Combat Engineering Corps expects to play a significant role in any potential ground operations, calling up a large number of reservists with years of experience.

In Operation Cast Lead, the Combat Engineering Corps often lead the way, searching for stockpiles of ammunition and underground explosives planted by Hamas. "In the case of a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, we will enter in full force. There are many plans and preparations for specific things, such as underground tunnels," said Brig. Gen. Yossi Morali, the Commander of the Combat Engineering corps.

3:10 p.m.: Rockets launched from Gaza have continued to strike Israel throughout the day. As of this afternoon, 410 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel since November 14th, with 30 striking heavily populated areas. In addition, the Iron system has intercepted 230 rockets since the beginning of the conflict.

1:30 p.m.: Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a situation assessment at the Kirya, the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. After meeting with senior officers, the Chief of Staff instructed IDF forces to attack any military force operating in the Gaza Strip, and ordered an increased in the rate of attacks on terrorist targets.

11:00 a.m.: As a part of the effort to warn Gaza's citizens and minimize civilian casualties, the IDF has dropped more than 200,000 leaflets over the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the operation. These leaflets warn the residents of the Gaza Strip to stay away from Hamas and other terror organizations' operatives and facilities that pose a risk to their safety.
 
The leaflets stress that Hamas is dragging the region toward violence, and that the IDF is prepared to defend the residents of the State of Israel until quiet is restored to the region.

10:30 a.m.: A short a while ago, three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in a rocket attack in southern Israel. Details forthcoming.

9:10 a.m.:The IDF's Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai has released a statment further detailing last night's strikes. Here is the statement in full:

"Since last night, the IDF has struck over 200 targets, including over 120 underground rocket launchers and more than 20 smuggling tunnels in Rafah. In addition, the IDF struck buildings belonging to the Hamas government. Ismail Haniyeh's headquarters, which serve as the headquarters for the Hamas government, was destroyed in a strike. Additionally, the Hamas' police headquarters and the homeland security headquarters in Gaza City were also targeted. Lastly, the house of Ahmed Randor, commander of Hamas' northern command, was targeted as well.

Even now we are launching a wave of continuous strikes in attempt to curb the massive amount of rockets launched. We can see that relative to previous days, this morning's rocket fire is already reduced. We are continuing to mass forces for a possible ground operation."


8:55 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted Hamas government buildings as well as several rocket launching squads that were involved in firing rockets toward Israel. As part of the IDF targeting of government buildings, Ismail Haniya's headquarters, the Hamas Ministry of Interior, and the Hamas police compound, were targeted. An additional Hamas training facility was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip.
 
In addition, the IDF has continued targeting dozens of terror sites including tunnels, weapons storage facilities and medium-range rocket launching sites across the Gaza Strip, severely damaging rocket launching capabilities.
 
5:50 a.m.: Since midnight, the IDF has struck 85 targets in the Gaza Strip. According to IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, who addressed the Israeli press last evening, most of the targets struck in the Gaza Strip are rocket launch sites.

An update on IDF overnight activity is forthcoming.

1:00 a.m. The IDF has released a video update recapping the third day of Operation Pillar of Defense.

 

 

Friday, November 16

11:45 p.m.: The IDF has mobilized hundreds of reservists from Search and Rescue units in the Home Front Command. They are being put on standby, ready to respond to any building collapses due to rocket strikes. "The reservists were enlisted to rescue casualties from destroyed buildings and, if necessary, provide medical care to victims. The majority of the force is concentrated in the south because of the significant threat in the area, but there are reserves that are assigned to operate in the event of a building collapse in the central region."

As long as there is no need to locate and rescue injured civilians, the reservists will join the regular Home Front Command battalions and investigate the scenes of rocket strikes, while helping the police and Magen David Adom. In addition, they will participate in the Home Front Command's civilian assistance program by distributing brochures, preparing shelters, and providing residents with guidance.

11:30 p.m.: Over the past few hours, the IDF has targeted two senior Hamas operatives, including Muhammad Abu-Jalal, a Hamas company commander in Al-Muazi, as well as Khaled Shah'yer, a senior operative involved in the rocket launch array.

In addition, as a part of the effort to warn Gaza's civilians, the IDF has sent text messages to approximately 12,000 residents of the Gaza Strip. These messages were sent this morning and warn the residents to stay away from Hamas operatives.

10:30 p.m.: Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip have continued to fall over Israel. Today alone, 97 rockets have struck Israel, bring the total number of rocket strikes to 388 since that start of the operation on Wednesday, November 14th.

8:05 p.m.: Update on closed military zone and subequent road closings available here.

8:00 p.m.: Ahead of a possible ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, the Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz arrived in the south to brief both regular soldiers and reservists.

"We are here tonight on the eve of a possible ground operation," said the Chief of Staff to his soldiers. "This is not our first time in Gaza. We have been through a few days with very significant attacks on the scale of hundreds of daily targets, and have struck with great force and precision."

 7:30 p.m.: The IDF is mobilizing forces, continuing with Operation Pillar of Defense according to pre-determined operational plans. The forces have been briefed and trained according to the specific guidelines of the plan, and will operate until the mission has been completed.

During the course of the day, the IDF targeted dozens of rocket launching sites, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. In addition, several terrorist squads that were involved in firing rockets toward Israel, as well as a terror tunnel containing explosives in the central Gaza Strip, were targeted. Israeli Navy soldiers targeted terror activity sites in the southern and central Gaza Strip.

The aim of targeting these sites is to impair the rocket launching capability of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and hamper their continued build up.

Since midnight, 66 rockets that were fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel, a further 99 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile Defense System.

5:30 p.m.: It has been confirmed that a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has landed outside Jerusalem, Israel's capital city.

5:00 p.m.: Moments ago, rocket alarms sounded in Jersualem. Updates forthcoming.

3:20 p.m.: 3 IDF soldiers have been injured in a rocket attack in southern Israel. Injuries range from light to moderate.

As of this afternoon, the total number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip that have struck Israel has exceeded 330. The Iron Dome system has continued to operate throughout the operation, intercepting 184 rockets. The IAF has continued to operate over the Gaza Strip, striking over 500 targets since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

2:00 p.m.: The Paratrooper and Givati Infantry brigades have completed the final prepartions for a potential ground operation. The forces are on standby, ready to enter should it be decided that a ground operation is necessary.

Paratrooper Brigade Commander Col. Amir Baram adressed his forces during a prepatory briefing in the field, saying, "We are already 48 hours into an operation that we knew would have to happen. We have spoken about it during training, exercises, and conferences. There is no doubt that we have to operate, this is why we enlisted, and why we have trained."

Over 16,000 reservists have been mobilized, out of the 30,000 approved by the Israeli government.

1:00 p.m.: As of this afternoon, 67 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel today. In addition, the Iron Dome system has intercepted 55 rockets today alone. In all, 335 rockets have struck Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense began on November 14th.

10:55 a.m.: Over the last two hours, over 50 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel.

7:44 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 150 medium-range rocket launching sites as well as ammunition storage facilities across the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to terror infrastructures. As a result of the IDF's targeting of rocket launching capabilities, rocket fire at Israel overnight was significantly decreased, with only a few rockets landing in open areas.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israel Air Force has targeted over 450 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip. The aim of targeting these sites is to impair the rocket launching capability of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and hamper their continuous build-up.

In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a central terror activity site in the southern Gaza Strip in order to harm the command and control posts of the Hamas terror organization. The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

The IDF has corrected a previous error that had misstated the number of rockets fired at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Over the past few days, over 300 rockets were fired at Israeli communities. One rocket hit the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion, home to over 200,000 people, located approximately 60 km from the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has successfully intercepted over 130 rockets launched from Gaza, aimed at Israel.

The Gaza strip has been turned into a frontal base for Iran, forcing Israeli citizens to live under unbearable circumstances. The IDF will continue to target sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against Israeli citizens. Currently, over the course of a rapid and preplanned military strike, the IDF continues to target underground launch sites used to fire rockets at Israeli communities.

For information on the beginning of the operation, click here.