After eight days of around the clock combat, a ceasefire between the parties has taken effect tonight. The agreement was initiated by Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhamed Amr and U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and will bring an end to the combat in the Gaza Strip.
Operation "Pillar of Defense" began after a decision was made to put an end to the firing of rockets toward southern residents of Israel, and as a response to the many security issues on that border. "The IDF began its activity as a response to the unbearable situation in the South and in an effort to harm terrorist organizations operating from the Gaza Strip", said IDF Spokesperson, Brigadier General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai. In the operation, the IAF attacked 1,500 targets throughout the Gaza Strip: weaponry cachets, smuggling tunnels, terrorists and executives in the military arm of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and terrorist-abiding infrastructures were all attacked using exacting intelligence and detailed planning.
Throughout the mission, the cities of Israel suffered from heavy rocket fire, and the "Iron Dome" system intercepted over 400 rockets. After four days of occlusion, a fifth "Iron Dome" was deployed to protect the Greater Tel Aviv (Gush Dan) area, which for the first time in 20 years was privy to rocket fire. Additionally, alarms sounded in Rishon LeTzion and Jerusalem.
Prior to the start of the ceasefire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the pilots, "Iron Dome" fighters and people of the IAF for the multitude and quality of their work in the operation, protecting the residents of the State of Israel.
Statistics of the operation from the IDF Website:
Senior Operatives Targeted:
14.11 - Ahmed Sai'd Halil Jabri, head of Hamas' military wing.
15.11 - Hab's Hassan Us Msamch, senior operative in Hamas' police.
16.11 - Ahmed Abu Jalal, Commander of the military wing in Al-Muazi
16.11 - Khaled Shayer, senior operative in the anti-tank operations.
17.11 - Osama Kadi, senior operative in the smuggling operations in the southern Gaza Strip.
17.11 - Muhammad Kalb, senior operative in the aerial defense operations.
19.11 - Ramz Harb, Islamic Jihad senior operative in propaganda in Gaza city.
Number of Rocket Launches Toward Israel During the Operation:
14.11 - 75
15.11 - 316
16.11 - 228
17.11 - 237
18.11 - 156
19.11 - 143
20.11 - 221
21.11 (Until 21:00) - 130
Rocket Launched Towards Israel:
Total number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip - 1,506
Open areas - 875
Urban areas - 58
'Iron Dome' Interceptions - 421
Failed launching attempts - 152
Fatalities - 5
Injuries - 240