Responding to months of rocket barrages by Hamas-led terror groups targeting more than a million Israeli civilians, the IDF today launched a widespread campaign targeting military infrastructure and operatives in the Gaza Strip. The campaign has been identified by Israeli military officials as "Operation Pillar Of Defense," and began with a pin-point strike targeting Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas's military wing and a terrorist linked to hundreds of terror operations over the span of decades.Read the whole thing.
Jabari was Hamas's "chief of staff," and was second-in-command of the Iranian proxy's al-Qassam Brigades. His history of terrorism stretches back to the early 1980s. In 1982 he was arrested and spent 13 years in jail for terror activities, and after his release he rose through the ranks of Hamas. He was in charge of Hamas's military operations during the Second Intifada, the widespread suicide bombing campaign targeting Israeli civilians in the early 2000s, and oversaw the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Also reportedly killed by early Israeli attacks was Raed Al Attar, Jabari's second-in-command, raising speculation that Israel is deliberately seeking to degrade Hamas's military leadership. Hamas commanders routinely go underground during major hostilities with Israel, including historically utilizing medical facilities, and the targeting of Jabari and Al Attar was done at the beginning of what the IDF is identifying as a widespread campaign.
Meanwhile, The Muqata is live blogging Day 1 of the Gaza War 14-Nov-2012
It is generally admitted that a real end to Hamas violence -- and keeping in mind the other terrorist groups in Gaza -- cannot be achieved in any satisfying way without a ground offensive.
The continued air attack, even targeting specifically known leaders and munitions, can at best only push Hamas into a ceasefire -- a ceasefire and not a peace, because Iran pulls the strings and will not allow a real peace.
If Israel cannot decisively deal with the very real rocket attack from Gaza, Netanyahu's threats of taking action against Iran's perceived nuclear threat against Israel will be taken less seriously.
Here is some of the latest from The Muqata (subtract 7 from the time given):
7:29 PM The IDF and Shabak are working closely together along with the Artillery units to take out individual Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
7:15 PM Throngs of Israeli student pack the Be'er Sheva train station, due to the closing of Ben Gurion University. To accommodate the masses of students, Israel Rail Road is sending extra long trains to evacuate the students looking to escape northward.
7:14 PM Israel has achieved a major success by taking out Hamas's Fajr-5 rocket capabilities which could have hit Tel Aviv. IDF is reporting that Hamas wanted to prove their capabilities due to Israel's strike on Jabari, but are now almost completely powerless to hit anything further than 40KM from Gaza.
Leaving, of course, within 40KM...
Keep updated on Operation Pillar of Defense
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