Thursday, November 15, 2012

Second Briefing On Operation Pillar of Defense With Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich

Lt. Col Avital Leibowich, the official Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson to the international press, just finished giving another briefing on the current status of Operation Pillar of Defense

Lt. Col. Leibowich reiterated that the operation, which started yesterday, had 2 main goals:

  • Defend Israeli civilians
  • Cripple the military capabilities of the terrorists

Operation Pillar of Defense has targeted 220 locations in Gaza where Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets are located.

During the operation, Hamas has continued to target civilians in Israel, for example Ashkelon and Beersheva which have populations of 200,000 askelon and beersheva

Iron Dome has intercepted approximately 90 rockets thus far.

Since Operation Pillar of Defense began, 14 Palestinians have been hospitalized in Israel – these are people who are chronically ill, not connected to the operation.

Lt. Col. Leibovich confirmes that 2 hours earlier, Tel Aviv had in fact been targeted by Gazan terrorists, but was not hit.

She noted that while reservists were ready, they had not yet been called up.

She pointed out that obviously Iran is a major factor in the military capabilities of these terrorist groups and that besides Hamas, Islamic Jihad had also been supplied by Iran with Fajr-5 rockets

Regarding Hezbollah, the alert status had been raised on the border, but just as a matter of precaution.

Lt. Col Leibovich stressed that Operation Pillar of Defense is only 24hrs old, and so it is not unexpected that there are still Fajr-5’s left in Gaza being used against Israel.

The operation is ongoing and is being reassessed all the time in terms of its progress in reaching its goals.

When asked to define those goals, Lt. Col. Leibowich defined success as when number of rockets fired on Israeli civilians will drop to a minimum and Israelis can live peacefully and quietly.

She pointed out that the IDF cannot guarantee a full stop to the rocket fire

The decision to bring Operation Pillar of Defense belongs to IDF.

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