This first article is a must read. It is easy to read about the number of missiles launched and the physical damage done, but it is another thing to see it in living color. The first link below reveals the human toll that is created by such a massive number of incoming missiles on a daily basis - and the photos are often dramatic. It is definitely worthwhile to take a look at these pictures and the life that must be lived as an Israeli under constant attack:
Most of the Israeli population is currently living under the threat of rocket fire. Life between sirens, in and out of bomb shelters, has become the daily reality for millions of Israelis. Hamas terrorists have fired more than 540 rockets at Israel since Operation Protective Edge began on Monday, July 7 – and over 830 rockets since the beginning of 2014.
Transportation networks have been disrupted as train service in southern Israel has been canceled. Israelis are hesitant to drive in their cars because they do not want to be caught in the open when the rocket siren sounds. Public gatherings, such as concerts or festivals, have been canceled.
Businesses around the country, especially in the south, have suffered due to ongoing rocket fire. Many restaurants and shops have closed, as people prefer to be at home with their families near shelters.
Thursday afternoon, July 10, the IDF advised 100,000 Palestinian civilians to leave their homes in the northern Gaza villages of Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Greater Ibsen and Smaller Ibsen and head west to the coast or south to remove themselves from danger. This order, issued shortly after a special Israeli cabinet meeting, suggested that an Israel military incursion is impending. During the day, Hamas kept up its barrage. By firing 100 rockets, the Islamists demonstrated that their rocket capability had not been impaired by three days of massive Israeli air strikes.
Early Thursday, July 10, two more rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv. Iron Dome intercepted one. By 9 am, 10 more landed in Negev sites. Between Wednesday midnight and Thursday morning, the Israeli Air Force and Navy had carried out 108 strikes in the Gaza Strip - 322 in 24 hours. Targeted were a weapons store, 5 arms manufacturing plants, 5 military compounds, 58 tunnels, 2 surveillance posts, 217 buried rocket launching pads, one command and control base and 46 homes of Hamas and Jihad Islami commanders.
In this time span, the Palestinians fired 234 rockets.
On Wednesday July 9, the second day of Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he had ordered its expansion “until the [Palestinian] shooting stopped.”
After day of intensive rocket fire on Israel, and heavy Israeli air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, Netanyahu tells Israelis to brace for continued conflict amid speculation that a ground offensive is imminent
Operation Protective Edge entered its fourth day on Friday. By nightfall Thursday, over 350 rockets had been fired at Israel, about 90 of them intercepted by Iron Dome, and the Israeli Air Force had carried out almost 900 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip; Palestinian reports said at least 90 Palestinians had been killed. Late Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israelis to brace for a lengthy conflict, and Israel was massing increased forces on the Gaza border for a possible ground offensive. The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold. (Wednesday’s liveblog is here.)
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the IDF will launch a crushing ground operation in Gaza “within hours,” according to Channel 2.
Theand Diplomacy Cabinet met Thursday evening to discuss the next stages of Operation Protective Edge.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly intends to give alater in the evening.
The IDF on Thursday afternoon contacted by phone Arab residents of Gaza living near the security border, warning them to evacuate their homes immediately. The phone calls were made to of roughly 100,000 Arab residents of the Hamas stronghold.
The phone warnings indicate that the operation may be moving into a new stage and entering a ground offensive.
Israeli commentators believe Hamas and its allies are going for something of a “Hail Mary” by trying to hit either the reactor in Dimona or score a multi-casualty impact in Greater Tel Aviv.
Operation Protective Edge entered its third day on Thursday. At least 80 rockets were fired into Israel on Wednesday, hitting as far north as Zichron Ya’akov, bringing the total since Monday night to over 200. In the Israeli Air Force’s hundreds of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, at least 53 Palestinians have been killed and around 500 injured, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. (You can find Tuesday’s liveblog here, and Wednesday’s here.)
IDF awaits ‘approval’ for new actions against Hamas
The Israeli Air Force, for its part, had bombed hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip, without causing substantial damage to Hamas’s rocket stockpiles or command structure.
Hamas is being run right now not by the Gaza political leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh or Mahmoud al-Zahar, but by the commanders of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades — men like Marwan Issa, Mohammed Def, Raed al-Attar, and Yahya Snawar. They largely initiated the escalation, and they are the ones now determining how it plays out.
Thus far, Hamas’s military wing has managed to control and direct the rocket fire with remarkable efficiency. It is evident that much thought has gone into planning a system that would enable protracted, long-range shooting, even under heavy Israeli air fire. Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have simultaneously attempted infiltrations from the sea — what it would consider “quality” acts of terrorism — against Israeli targets at Zikim; thus far, they have failed to produce the desired result.