Operation Pillar of Defense


by Sean and Ayelet Steckbeck

Simeon's Cry Ministries

November 17, 2012 


Memories of Operation Cast Lead  
 
In 2009, after many rockets fell on cities in Israel's southern region, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead. For a period of nearly a month, Israel launched a ground operation which had goals to wipe out the terrorist organizations in Gaza's capability to launch missile and mortar attacks against Israel and arms smuggling into Gaza. This operation left around 1400 Gazans dead, around 250 of them being civilians. There were also a recorded 750 rocket and mortar attacks on Israel leaving three civilians dead and nearly 200 hurt. During this war, Israel struck Hamas and terrorist infrastructure targets, while Hamas aimed at civilian population centers. Unfortunately, the civilian casualties in Gaza was largely due to Hamas firing from their own civilian population centers and use of human shields in the grounds op. Because of the civilian casualties, high pressure was put on Israel by the international community to end Operation Cast Lead. Ehud Olmert's government then agreed to a ceasefire while being satisfied to what they saw as a tactical victory against Hamas rockets. Despite Ehud Olmert's optimism, the majority in Israel saw the cowering to international pressure as a defeat and a tactical mistake to end the conflict before Hamas' total defeat. The Israeli pessimism of the success of  Operation Cast Lead is justified now that another grounds operation is needed four years later. Maybe this time Israel will finish the job and not cower to international pressure. The truth is that if Israel would have finished the job four years ago, civilian casualties on both sides could've been avoided now.

Operation Pillar of Cloud

On November 14th, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Cloud by exterminating Hamas strategic mastermind Ahmad Jabbari. This was after a full week of a barrage of rocket attacks launched from Gaza against Israel's southern cities. At the same time, Israel took out many weapons factories throughout Gaza with longrange missles. Since then a barrage of  nearly 600 rockets have fallen on Southern and Central Israel. Yesterday, surprisingly, rockets even reached both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Three Israelis have died in the central town of Kiryat Malachi after a direct hit on an apartment building and several more have been hurt, including children. The majority of the casualties in Gaza have been Hamas militants, but a few civilian casualties have also occured unfortunately including at least one child. The few civilian casualties are amazingly low despite the fact that Hamas places its rockets and launching its attacks from civilian populated centers in Gaza. Over 75,000 Israeli reservists are being called up for a ground op, including several messianic Jewish believers that we know. The residents of the South are not even allowed to leave their homes for the past four days. As you can see, the situation has intensified from the Cast Lead operation, as Hamas has almost launched in the last four days as many rockets as it did in a three week period during the Cast Lead operation. There are also several people hurt and many Israeli children are suffering from deep shock.

 

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