Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Briefing With Lt. Col Avital Leibowich, IDF Spokesperson On Operation Pillar of Defense

Lt. Col Avital Leibowich, the official Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson to the international press, spoke to a group of bloggers to update us on the goals of Operation Pillar of Defense.

She noted that Operation Pillar of Defense had 2 goals:

  • Protect Israeli civilians who have been under constant rocket attack from Gaza for 11 years. In 2012 alone, there have been over 700 rockets fired from Gaza at civilian targets.

  • Cripple the capabilites of the various terrorist groups operating in Gaza with Hamas.
Operation Pillar of Defense is being conducted in 2 phases:
  • Phase 1: The central target was Ahmed Jabari, born in 1960, who is the most senior military leader of military wing of Hamas. Jabari had a lot of Israeli blood on his hands, and in addition was also involved in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

  • Phase 2: The IDF targeted 20 underground launching pads, including the Iranian-made Fajr-5 which has a long range and is capable of reaching 40 kilometers into Israel.
A current assessment will determine how the IDF will proceed -- keeping in mind that all options are on the table, including a ground invasion into Gaza.
Dome: 17 rockets intercept

Lt. Col. Leibowich noted that it is not natural for families to have to eat, sleep and live in shelters for a long period of time and such a situation cannot be allowed to continue.

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