A Year after the Gaza Operation – Josef Federman
A year after a bruising Israeli offensive in Gaza, southern Israel has sprung back to life, and the frequent rocket fire that once plagued the region has nearly stopped after Hamas agreed to stop rocket fire against Israel. “We are still living on a hostile border,” said Chaim Yelin, head of the Eshkol regional council, which straddles the border with Gaza. Just a few kilometers away, thousands of Hamas security men staged a massive military parade in Gaza in a powerful show of strength.
Israel launched its offensive on Nov. 14, 2012, responding to an upsurge in rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza. The operation began with an airstrike that killed Hamas’ military leader, Ahmad Jabari. Eight days of intense fighting ensued in which Israel carried out some 1,500 airstrikes and Hamas and other armed groups fired a similar number of rockets into Israel. Some 161 Palestinians and 5 Israelis were killed before an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire took hold.
Alon Davidi, the mayor of Sderot, a battle-scarred border town that has absorbed thousands of rockets over the years, said, “On one side, thank God, we feel that things are quieter, and that we can trust the Israeli government and the army to do what it takes to protect us. On the other hand, we feel that at any time everything could blow up and can turn us back into a conflict zone.” Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, the Israeli military’s Gaza division commander, said the period of quiet is the result of Israeli deterrence, not a change in Hamas’ attitudes. (AP)
In Response to Palestinian Mortar Fire, IDF Destroys Two Rocket Launchers in Gaza – Adiv Sterman and Stuart Winer
The Israeli Air Force destroyed two hidden rocket launchers in northern Gaza Thursday in response to mortar fire aimed at IDF soldiers earlier in the day. The IDF said that Hamas would be held accountable for any future attacks on Israel. (Times of Israel)