Browsing Posts published on November 14, 2012

Earlier today, in an effort to stop the terrorist group Hamas’ ability to launch terror attacks against Israeli citizens, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense.

In a joint operation of the IDF and the ISA, Ahmed Said Halil Jabari, chief of the Hamas military arm in the Gaza Strip, was killed. Jabari was responsible for all Hamas terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip during the last decade.

Jabari was involved in planning and arranging funding for military activities and terrorist attacks against Israel. Jabari became the operational head of the militant wing at the height of the armed Palestinian terror war against Israel from 2000-2007, which claimed the lives of over 1,500 Israeli civilians.

During the last few years, Jabari led Hamas’s military arm in a series of events that shaped the reality in the Gaza Strip – such as the Hamas take-over in 2007, and directing the cycles of escalation against Israel.

Jabari was involved in orchestrating the attack in June 2006 in which several IDF soldiers were killed and the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.

After Shalit was kidnapped, and throughout the years of negotiating a deal for his release, Jabari headed the Hamas negotiation team and took an extremist and hawkish position.

Background:

Jabari, 52, a resident of Gaza, was involved in military activity from the early 1980s and served until his death as the senior military commander of Hamas. In the past he was close to Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin and operated under his patronage. Jabari started his military career in Fatah and took part in a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. For these activities he was imprisoned in Israel for thirteen years, serving a sentence from 1982 until his release in January 1995.

Already in 1995 Jabari began to manage an association for the support and benefit of Hamas prisoners and up until today managed the Nur Association for the aid of released Hamas prisoners, which was under the auspices of Sheikh Yassin. In this role he managed a huge system of financial transfers to support Hamas inmates and their families and the families of killed terrorists.

While in prison, Jabari’s views became more extreme. He joined the Hamas organization and served as the representative of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad prison inmates. His years in prison, his extreme views and his prison activities assured Jabari of a senior position in the Hamas leadership upon his release.

Since his release from prison, Jabari was involved in various activities and senior positions in the Hamas organization. He simultaneously served as the senior military commander, directed terrorist cells throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and was involved in arms smuggling, as well as fulfilling various organizational positions in the movement.

As part of the top military echelon, he was involved in promoting and implementing a series of major terror attacks.

In September 2010, Jabari threatened to increase attacks against Israel to derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. “With the power of faith, weapons and missiles, tunnels and commandos we will achieve victory for Palestine and we’ll end the occupation in Gaza too,” he said.

This year has seen a dramatic increase in terrorist activity emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of 2012, there have been over 800 rockets launched at Israeli civilians by the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza. Over the past few days, the situation has become even worse, with 120 rockets launched by Hamas in Gaza. These rockets and missiles are launched indiscriminately at schools, homes, and other populated areas inside Israel, their sole purpose is to cause death and destruction.

House in southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket

In one of the first  attacks, an IDF force patrolling near the Karni crossing, inside Israel, sustained a direct hit by an anti-tank missile fired from a location east of the Gaza Strip neighborhoods of Zeitun and Sajaiya. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Two others were rushed to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon in moderate condition, suffering from shrapnel wounds.  It’s important to note that the vehicle was conducting a routine patrol of the Gaza border fence, inside Israeli territory.  You can see the raw footage of the attack below:

For some background information, it’s important to stress what is the Gaza Strip. Located Southwest of Israel, the small enclave is  controlled by Hamas, which is categorized by the U.S. and Europe as a terrorist organization. Israel withdrew from the area in 2005, and not a single soldier or civilian resides in Gaza. It is entirely in the hands of Hamas, who are well equipped with missiles, rockets, and guns from Iran.

In response to this outbreak in terrorist activity, which endangers the lives of over 1,000,000 Israeli civilians living in the range of the rocket attacks, Israel has begun a targeted operation called “Pillar of Defense.” The goal of this operation is to deal a serious blow to the terrorist group’s military command structure.

Earlier today, the Israel Defense Forces targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing, in the Gaza Strip. Jabri was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas’ command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against the State of Israel in the past number of years.

Jabari was one of the most notorious and “most wanted” terrorists in the world, having been in charge of the thousands of rocket attacks launched at Israel’s cities over the past decade, as well as directing the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

Human Rights Watch denounced Hamas for “the targeting and killing of civilians, public executions of political opponents and captives, throwing prisoners off high-rise apartment buildings, fighting in hospitals, and shooting from a jeep marked with “TV” insignias.” It must be noted that Israel disengaged completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The result of Israel’s disengagement is that Gaza has become a giant ammunition dump. In addition, it provides a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and to operate, including groups associated with al-Qaeda and Global Jihad. All this under the rule, responsibility and sponsorship of Hamas. Weapons smuggled from Libya, Iran and Sudan accelerated the process of Gaza turning into a terror base. These weapons also increased the danger posed to the Israeli population and the West in general.

Israeli Defense Force (IDF) spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich told BBC News that close to 20 sites in Gaza had been targeted in a limited operation, with the strikes aiming to destroy rocket-firing capabilities. A large part of the weapons storage sites were located in civilian residential buildings, the IDF confirmed. “This is further evidence of the pattern of Hamas to use the population in Gaza as human shields,” the IDF said in a statement. “The surgical operation against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organizations has two goals: to protect Israeli civilians and target the terror capability of these organizations,” she added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Hamas and the terror organizations have elected in recent days to escalate their attacks on Israel’s citizens. We are not prepared to make peace with a situation in which Israel’s citizens are menaced by the terror of rocket fire. No country would agree to such a situation; Israel is not prepared to reconcile itself to such a situation.

Today we have damaged the strategic targets of Hamas in a precise fashion; we have substantially damaged the launch capabilities of rockets from Gaza to central Israel and we are damaging the launch capability to Southern Israel.The terror organizations hurt our citizens with premeditation, while they deliberately conceal themselves behind their own citizens. We in contradistinction refrain to the extent possible from harming civilians; this is a fundamental difference between us and them. They would simply like to wipe us off the face of the earth and they have no reservations about harming innocent civilians.

Today we transmitted a clear message to the Hamas organization and to other terrorist organizations and should the need arise, the IDF is prepared to expand the action. We will continue doing everything to protect our citizens.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “Israel does not seek war, but Hamas’ provocations in recent weeks, most notably the repeated rounds of rocket and mortar fire directed at cities and towns in southern Israel, the explosives set off in an underground tunnel leading into Israel, and the firing of an anti-tank missile at a jeep inside Israeli territory forced us to take decisive action