After a relatively quiet weekend, schools in the south are reopened as the south begins to return to a state of normalcy.
• Since Friday, March 9, 2012, more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, striking major population centers in southern Israel.
• The crossings into Gaza for humanitarian aid remain open.
Since Friday, March 9, 2012, more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, striking major population centers in southern Israel, placing more than 1,000,000 Israelis under the threat of rocket fire. Terrorist groups such as the PRC (Popular Resistance Committees) fired rockets into the cities of Ashdod, Beersheba, Yavne, Netivot and Ashkelon, as well as into the Eshkol and Shaar HaNegev regional councils.
PM Netanyahu: "The recent activity is testimony to my government’s policy – aggressive action in order to prevent Israeli citizens from being hurt and increasing home front defense. Our message is clear: Quiet will bring quiet. Whoever violates it or even tries to violate it – we will find him. We achieved precise hits on those who perpetrate terrorism, terrorist commanders, terrorism infrastructures and many missiles that were aimed at our cities and communities."
Grad rocket explodes in Netivot, in residential parking lot, March 13 (Photo: Reuters)
The informal truce declared on March 13 was broken by four rockets and seven mortar shells fired at Israel. A Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a parking lot in the heart of Netivot on Tuesday evening (13 March). A man was lightly hurt by shrapnel and 20 people were treated for shock. Damage was caused to several vehicles and an apartment building.
In response, the Israel Air Force struck two terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, after having refrained from aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip throughout the day.
Despite the rocket fire, it was decided to reopen schools in southern Israel on Wednesday, March 14.
March 18: After a relatively quiet weekend, schools in the south are reopened as the south begins to return to a state of normalcy.
March 14: The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted two Grad-type rockets launched toward Be’ersheva on Wednesday evening, while a third exploded in an open field
In response, IAF aircraft targeted a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip and a terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.
Schools in many southern cities will again be closed.
– Israel submits letters of complaint to UN
– IDF timeline of events
– IDF on YouTube
During the latest round of escalation more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Israel. Of them, 117 fell in southern Israel. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted and destroyed several dozen, preventing hits on populated areas.
Ashdod struck by rockets – March 12, 2012 (Photos: Reuters)
PRC spokesman Abu Mujahid admits Hamas allows attacks against Israel
On Friday, March 9, in a combined IDF-ISA operation, IAF aircraft targeted two members of the Popular Resistance Committee terror organization in the Gaza Strip – a senior operative, Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi, and a collaborator, Mahmud Ahmed Mahmud Hananni. The squad was responsible for planning a combined terror attack that was to take place via the Sinai Peninsula and the Israel-Egypt border in the coming days. A direct hit was confirmed. In light of situation assessments and security considerations, and following the targeting of the terror squad involved in the planning of a combined terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border, route 12 has been closed for traffic.
Zuhir Kaisi, born in 1963, from Gaza City, was the head of the Popular Resistance Committee terror organization and was also its political commander. Kaisi was among the leaders who planned, funded, and directed the combined terror attack that took place on Route 12 in August 2011, in which eight people were killed and 40 wounded. Kaisi was also involved in rocket fire at Israel, as well as in the attack on the Nahal Oz fuel terminal in April 2008, in which two Israeli citizens were killed. In addition, Kaisi was in charge of transferring funds from Hizbullah to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.
Following the strike, terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket and mortar barrage directly targeting Israeli civilians. The barrage is currently ongoing.
On Friday night, IAF aircraft targeted two weapon manufactoring facilities and two rocker launching sites in the nothern Gaza Strip, a weapon manufactoring sites in the central Gaza Strip and a terror activity sites in the southern Gaza Strip. The targeting was in direct response to the rockets fired at Israeli southern communities. In addition IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist in the central Gaza Strip and six addtional terrorist squads who were in the final stages of preparing to fire rockets at Israel from separate locations in the nothern and central Gaza Stirp.
On March 10, in response of the ongoing rocket fire at Israel, IAF aircraft targeted two terror activity sites in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, and a weapon storage facility in the northern Gaza Strip.
On Sunday morning (March 11), IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist at a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip from which two rockets were fired at the city of Ashdod a short time beforehand, and later targeted a terrorist, moments before he was to fire a Grad rocket at the city of Ashdod. Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted a weapons storage facility and four rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a rocket launching site in the southern Gaza Strip.
On Monday (12 March), IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad was identified preparing to launch rockets at Israel from within a residential area in the northern Gaza Strip. This is a blatant example of how terror organizations use human shields to carry out terror attacks from the heart of urban areas. In addition, IAF aircraft targeted two rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip and a terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad rocket depot targeted in Jabalya (IDF, 12 March 2012)