Qassam rocket (Archive photo, IDF Spokesman)
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
In the absence of any action by the Palestinian Authority to stop terror originating from the Gaza Strip, and in light of the continued firing of projectile rockets from the Gaza Strip at heavily populated Israeli communities, as well as strategic facilities in Israel, the IDF intends to step up its activities against rocket-launching terror cells in the northern Gaza Strip.
In order to enable pinpoint activity against the projectile rocket launchers while minimizing harm to the civilian population, the IDF addressed the Palestinian population living near projectile rocket launching grounds via leaflets distributed from the air, and warned them that they are not to pass through certain defined areas for a limited period of time.
The IDF will allow the Palestinian population a number of hours in order to get organized, prior to the commencement of its activity in the area. At the end of this period of time, the IDF will step up its activity against the terror cells in the projectile rocket launching grounds, from both the air and the ground.
The IDF will enable the Palestinian population to operate a humanitarian route. The IDF calls on the Palestinians to help themselves and act forcefully against the terror cells which operate from within their midst, causing hardship and distress at their expense.
Pamphlet that was distributed in the Gaza Strip
"To the residents of the Gaza Strip
From the IDF Headquarters
For your safety, read this announcement carefully and act in accordance with its contents.
The IDF will carry out an intensive military action in the area of the northern Gaza Strip against the terrorist groups launching rockets into the territory of the State of Israel.
For you own safety you are hereby warned not to go to the areas marked on the attached map, beginning December 28 at 18:00 and until further notice.
Anyone not heeding this warning will endanger his life.
You should know that the terrorist groups have taken you hostage, turned you into human shields and harm your interests.
Map of the buffer zone on IDF flyer
On December 28, 2005, coordination meetings were held between IDF officials and their Palestinian counterparts on the subject of warning the Palestinian population in the northern Gaza Strip in order to ensure its safety. A formal warning was communicated to the Palestinian security apparatuses during the meetings, this in addition to the distribution of leaflets to the general Palestinian public.
During the course of the meetings, the IDF officials presented their Palestinian counterparts with a map specifically detailing the area that Palestinians are called not to enter for their personal security.