The IAF struck and killed Hamas's head of military operations Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza on Wednesday. The strike marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza, IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai announced.
Hamas has announced a general call-up and threatened to respond not just with rockets but suicide attacks. Israeli sources say the air operation called Pillar of Cloud is underway against more Hamas leaders and its military infrastructure and rocket stocks across the Gaza Strip until peace is restored to southern
Israel. - DEBKA
"The first aim of this operation is to bring back quiet to southern Israel, and the second target is to strike at terror organizations," Mordechai said. "The homefront must brace itself resiliently," he added, describing Jabari as a man with "a lot of blood on his hands."
The IDF says Jabari carried out and ordered numerous terror attacks against Israel, including the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit and the firing of hundreds of rockets in recent years.
This post was modified from its original form on 14 Nov, 10:43
Mordechai added that Gaza is a "forward Iranian base," adding that the latest campaign of air strikes targeted most of the long-range offensive capabilities in the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
He added that columns of smoke were visible around Gaza.
Shortly after Mordechai's annoucement, the IAF struck over 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The airstrikes targeted long-range rockets in the possession of terror organizations, such as the Fajr-5 and other rockets that are capable of striking Tel Aviv from Gaza. Palestinian sources said that six Gazans were killed in the IDF strikes.
The IDF believes it has eliminated the majority of the long-range threat.
The majority of the Gaza weapons storage sites were located in civilian residential buildings, the IDF confirmed. "This is further evidence of the pattern of Hamas to use the population in Gaza as human shields," the IDF stressed.
The IDF has urged civilians to pay attention to instructions from the Home Front Command in light of the developments.
In response to the attacks, Hamas said that "the occupation has opened the gates of hell."
Senior Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq said the assassination will not "break the will of our people, nor weaken our resistance,"Al Ahram reported. Al-Rishq made the comments on his Facebook site, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is using the "war crime" to boost his chances of reelection, but that it could "cost him his political future."
Wednesday's violence came after a four-day rocket barragewhich began Saturday appeared to have come to an end on Tuesday evening. The hostilities saw over 100 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel and Israeli retaliatory strikes which killed six Palestinians.
Both Israel and Hamas sent signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked, after five days of mounting violence. source - JPost
HERE is the youtube of the strike: http://www.youtube.com/embed/P6U2ZQ0EhN4
This just in (12:50 EST) by joelcrosenberg
With the IDF killing of one the top Hamas military commanders -- see video of the attack here -- and the IAF bombing of at least 20 terror facilities in Gaza, Hamas terrorists say that Israel "has opened the gates of Hell" and that it plans a massive retaliation.
At the moment, there are unconfirmed reports that the Israelis are calling up military reserves and making preparations for a possible ground invasion of Gaza.
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Well, I will stand with Israel! I hope they eradicate every leader of Hamas. The idea that they are firing, at will, rockets into Israeli neighborhoods would constitute an act of war. They should fire back.
I think about it this way -- if the State of Georgia starting firing rockets into my neighborhood here in Florida (about the same distance) I think that the citizens of my state have the right to fight back.
So, if the Hamas leaders happen to be in the wrong place at the time then so be it.
All Hamas wants is the destruction of Israel. They don't want peace, no matter how much Israel gives them. They attack Israel no matter what Israel does or doesn't do. They do Palestinians in Gaza no favors either. All terrorists need to be taken out. Israel has every right to protect itself.
I second that, Tara Jane. Go Israel!
Tara, you are SPOT ON. I just wonder if the timing is coincidental or what.
This scenario has been in the brewing for a long time, but was not prevalent until yesterday or today?
Coincidence?? I think not.
Someone, who is calling the shots, has held it off to protect someone else???
Well, that makes 4 in favor here. I am 100% behind Israel; they have every right to protect their country and their people; we would do the same I would hope.
I agree, Hamas has never had any intention of a peaceful reconcilliation with Israel, they want to destroy Israel. And our State Department and President had better support Israel in this as well; the people of this Country would expect them to do that.
That makes five of us. I am pro-Israel and I am very proud to make that public statement. There has never been a group of human beings who have gone through what this group of people have faced. I am very proud to stand with Israel. God Bless Israel and keep them safe. If they are looking to Obama to make that hard decision to stand with them....quite frankly Obama is a total embarrassment and America should be ashamed that we have re-elected an anti-Israel American president. It doesn't get any worse than this.
this latency is driving me nuts. I posted a comment....it has gone into cyberspace.
Ahh, there it is!! Sorry Care 2!
Diane, drop the American when you refer to the re-elected president and I agree 100% with you; you can't call him American when he hates America so much.
Unfortunately, Linda, he is our president for another four years.
And his stance on Inrael, so far, has been tepid at best! But yet, he received the largest portion of the Jewish vote in the election.
I'm sorry but I just don't understand it. Just as I don't understand the really nasty comments on an article on this event on Yahoo today.
What is happening to this country!