In 2008, 1750 rockets and 1528 mortar bombs were fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip against communities in southern Israel. In addition, during the three weeks of the operation, Hamas launched another 571 rockets and 205 mortar bombs at Israel. Yet, in the year since the operation, only 127 rockets and 70 mortar shells have been fired into Israel. This dramatic decrease in the number of missiles hitting the south is positive proof of the operation's success.
Background: In November and December of 2008, the calm agreement that had been in effect since June 2008 began to deteriorate. By December 26, the number of rocket and mortar bomb attacks against communities in southern Israel had reached almost 3000. As then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a statement to the press, life in the south had become unbearable.
On 27 December 2008, Israel launched an attack against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
In his statement, PM Olmert clarified the operation's goals : "The operation in the Gaza Strip is designed, first and foremost, to bring about an improvement in the security reality for the residents of the south of the country. …I made it clear to the residents of Gaza that we are not acting against them and that we have no intention of punishing them for the actions of Hamas. We will see to the needs of the population in Gaza and will do our utmost to prevent a humanitarian crisis that will impinge upon residents' lives" (PM Olmert 27 Dec. 2008).
Since the end of the IDF operation in Gaza (18 Jan 2009), 668,393 tons of aid and 100,645,680 liters of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip.
Some 2009 statistics: Humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip has increased by close to 900 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year (Col. Moshe Levi, head of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, Nov. 16, 2009).
Since the beginning of 2009, the IDF has allowed over 4,000 Palestinians from Gaza, together with 3,600 escorts, to enter Israel (or via Israel to the West Bank) for medical treatment.The IDF has also issued over 18,500 permits for Palestinians to leave Gaza and enter Israel or travel overseas (statistics as of November 16, 2009).
A reminder: Humanitarian aid to Gaza during the fighting