IDF Operation in Gaza: Cast Lead
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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 IDF Operation in Gaza: Cast Lead

1/21/2009

9 IDF soldiers were killed and 336 wounded in the IDF ground operation in Gaza.

IDF Operation Cast Lead

Jan 21: Last IDF soldiers leave the Gaza Strip

This morning, the last IDF soldiers left the Gaza Strip and returned to Israel.
The forces are now redeployed outside the Gaza Strip, and are prepared for any development.

• BBC News: Military analysis - Jan 9, 2009
Former British Army Colonel Richard Kemp (fought in Afghanistan with British Forces in 2003): "There has never been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and death, than the IDF is doing today in Gaza."


Jan 20:
The IDF has issued a warning to residents of Gaza, urging them to stay away from unexploded ordnance and report its location to the District Coordination Office in Israel.
The announcement was relayed through various Palestinian and Arab-language media outlets.\


Jan 17: Cabinet decides to hold fire

The main objective of Operation Cast Lead was to bring about conditions for the creation of a better security situation in southern Israel - namely, the long-term cessation of rocket and mortar fire and all terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.

IDF implementing Cabinet decision
The cabinet decision to accept the Egyptian proposal follows the IDF's achievement of its objectives for Operation Cast Lead. IDF forces are being ordered to redeploy within and outside of Gaza in accordance with security assessments. IDF forces will respond to any attack against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. The operation has not yet ended and IDF forces remain alert and ready for any situation.

The IAF has carried out over 2,744 attacks against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the operation.

Summary of Operations Today

IDF forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip today identified two armed gunmen hiding in a residential building and targeted them with tank fire. In a subsequent sweep of the building troops uncovered a stockpile of ammunition, including an explosive belt, grenades and other weapons. The troops carried out a controlled detonation of the explosives.

In a second incident in northern Gaza troops identified a gunman armed with an anti-tank missile, and relayed his position to the IAF, which carried out a precision strike.

Since the morning the IAF targeted over 120 Hamas targets in Gaza, including:

  • More than 100 tunnels in southern Gaza
  • 10 rocket launching points, including several launchers already primed and loaded
  • 5 cells of gunmen
  • 3 Hamas outposts
  • Additional strikes assisting ground forces

A total of 20 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel today, no injuries were reported.

Thirteen soldiers were wounded in the past 24 hours, 3 seriously, 3 moderately and 7 lightly.

- IDF Spokesman on Israeli fire incidents in Gaza


Jan 16: Summary of IDF Operations

IDF forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip today uncovered a house rigged with explosives. The building was detonated in a controlled manner with the assistance of combat engineering forces.

A Paratroopers force identified a squad of gunmen armed with anti-tank weapons and guided the Air Force in striking it. In another incident, ground forces fired at a cell armed with mortar shells.

IDF ground forces operating in the Gaza strip reported hitting at least 20 armed gunmen throughout the day.

In one incident today, a joint combat engineering and tank force uncovered a tunnel containing weaponry and explosive devices. The tunnel was detonated in a controlled manner. A second reported incident included an infantry force from the Golani Brigade identifying a number of armed gunmen planting an explosive device. The force fired at the gunmen. In a third incident, a reserve infantry force identified a squad of gunmen approaching and fired at them.

Since the afternoon the IAF targeted over 25 Hamas targets in Gaza, including:

  • Two launchers used to fire rockets at Ashdod and Qiryat Gat
  • Three bunkers containing weapons and rockets
  • Seven groups of gunmen
  • A tent with Hamas operatives and weapons inside
  • Additional strikes assisting ground forces

Earlier in the day the IAF attacked approx. 25 Hamas terrorist sites, including:

  • Two smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip used for smuggling weaponry
  • 13 rocket launching sites
  • Six squads of armed gunmen
  • Five targets directed by ground forces
  • A building with Hamas terror operatives inside

Over 20 rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel. Among the cities hit were Ashdod and Qiryat Gat. Five civilians were reported wounded.

Summary of IDF Operations Overnight

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, engineering, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.
 
In a joint IDF and ISA operation in Gaza City yesterday evening, the IAF targeted a building in which the following senior Hamas operatives were residing - Said Siam, Ia'ad Siam and Salah Abu-Sharah. The forces reported a direct hit.
 
In one incident, a ground force identified a mortar launching squad launching a rocket at Israel and directed aerial forces that attacked the squad, reporting a direct hit.
 
The IAF attacked approximately 40 targets in Gaza overnight, including:

  • A mosque used as a weapons storage facility that housed a tunnel
  • A house of a Hamas terror operative
  • Six squads of armed gunmen
  • Four tunnels
  • Eight launching sites, including one in which an armed launcher was destroyed
  • Three weapons storage facilities, including a structure in a Hamas training camp
    • A number of explosive devices
  • Two Hamas outposts
  • Additional targets as assistance to ground forces

The Israeli Navy continued to support ground forces operating in Gaza, striking Hamas targets while it continues to enforce the naval blockade in the area.


Jan 15: IDF Targets Senior Hamas Leader Said Siam;
Summary of Today's Aerial Attacks

In a joint IDF and ISA operation in Gaza City early Thursday evening, the IAF targeted a building in which the following senior Hamas operatives were residing - Said Siam, Ia'ad Siam and Salah Abu-Sharah. The forces reported a direct hit.

Said Siam, born in 1959, served as minister of interior affairs in the Hamas government and oversaw its armed forces – including the Hamas Executive Force, its police force and its naval force. Siam was a zealous extremist, who liaised directly with Hamas' military wing and the terror organization's senior leadership in Gaza and abroad.

Ia'ad Siam is the brother and right-hand-man of Said Siam. Salah Abu-Sharah is the head of Hamas' interior security apparatus. 

Approximately thirty five armed gunmen were hurt in the fighting today. Ground forces directed aerial and artillery forces that attacked different targets. In one of the incidents, forces came under RPG fire, returned fire and identified hitting the armed gunmen.  

Since the early morning hours the IAF has attacked over 40 targets, including nearly a dozen armed cells, 21 rocket launching points, 2 mortar launching points and 2 weaponry storage sites.

More than 25 rockets were launched into Israel today.

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Summary of overnight events

At least ten rockets and mortars fired from Gaza hit Israel this morning.

More than 195,000 liters of fuel and 170 humanitarian aid trucks are expected to be transferred to Gaza today. The trucks' contents include medical equipment and medicines, food and other supplies.

IDF forces operating in Gaza hit approximately 35 armed gunmen during the night, mostly in aerial attacks directed by ground forces.

The IAF attacked approximately 70 terrorist sites, including:

  • A mosque in Rafah used to stockpile rockets that served as an assembly area for senior operatives involved in launching rockets.
  • 14 cells of armed gunmen.
  • 14 sites used to launch rockets and mortars at Israeli communities and cities.
  • Five weapon storage facilities located in houses of Hamas operatives.
  • One tunnel located under the house of a Hamas operative. 

The Israel Navy accompanied the ground forces and provided assisted in attacking Hamas outposts.

11 IDF soldiers were lightly wounded during tonight's operations.

Jan 14: Summary of IDF Operations Today

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

A total of 14 rockets were fired into Israel today, no injuries were reported.

The IAF attacked over 50 targets since the early morning hours, including:

  • Two company commanders in the Hamas terror organization, in the area of Zaytun. Walid Za'abud and Muhamad Dash, were both involved in launching rockets at Israel and attacks against IDF forces.
  • The armed cell responsible for launching an anti tank missile at an IDF force, causing the injury of seven soldiers.
  • 15 smuggling tunnels used to transfer Grad and Kassam rockets.
  • 10 cells of armed gunmen, including a terrorist identified placing an explosive device aimed at IDF forces. Some of these targets were identified in coordination with ground forces.
  • 10 rocket launchers, including a launcher located next to a cemetery and an armed Grad launcher ready for use.
  • A weapon storage facility.
  • Underground launching sites, some armed and ready for use.

Troops operating west of Gaza city uncovered weaponry, including explosive devices, hand grenades, vests and communication equipment, in a mosque west of Gaza city.

A reserve force identified a mortar shell launcher aimed at Israel and fired at the terrorist responsible and identified hitting him.

Today an IDF soldier was severely wounded, two soldiers were moderately wounded and 13 were lightly wounded in clashes in the northern Gaza Strip.

Summary of IDF Operations Overnight

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

The IAF attacked approximately 60 targets in Gaza overnight, including:

  • Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City
  • An area rigged with explosive devices intended for detonation against IDF forces
  • Five rocket launching sites, including a squad of gunmen who fired mortar shells into Israel. Three gunmen were identified to have been hit.
  • Eight cells of gunmen, some in coordination with ground forces
  • Nine weapons production and weapons storage facilities, including one in the home of a Hamas operative in Gaza City
  • Approximately 35 weapons smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip

The Navy continued to support ground forces operating in Gaza, striking Hamas targets. The IDF continues to enforce the naval blockade in the area.

Six soldiers were wounded in ground operations throughout the night: In one incident, two officers were moderately wounded and an officer and two soldiers were lightly wounded when they were fired upon by gunmen. Soldiers returned fire and hit the assailants. Another soldier was lightly wounded in a second incident.


Jan 13: Summary of IDF Operations Today

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

A total of 18 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel today; no injuries were reported.  

The IAF attacked over 100 targets since the early morning hours, including:

  • 55 weapons smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip
  • 20 rocket launching sites
  • 22 cells of armed gunmen, some of which were targeted in coordination with ground forces 

Troops operating in the northern Gaza Strip encountered several gunmen armed with anti-tank missiles and light weapons. The troops directed the Air Force in targeting the gunmen, which successfully hit the gunmen.

During today's operations, an IDF force uncovered a tunnel leading into Israeli territory near the Nahal Oz terminal, intended to enable terrorists to enter Israel and carry out a large scale terror attack. The entrance to the tunnel was in a house located 300 meters from the fence. IDF troops carried out a controlled detonation of a tunnel.


Entrance to tunnel uncovered inside a home in the Gaza Strip,
300 meters from the security fence (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

IDF troops also uncovered an anti-aircraft gun and heavy weapons cache in a mosque in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza.

   

- Video of weapons cache in mosque - 13 January 2009

IDF Officer and soldiers wounded in explosion of booby-trapped house

An IDF officer was critically wounded and two IDF soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded during the overnight operation in the northern Gaza Strip. The wounded officer and soldiers were evacuated to hospital for medical treatment.

The force was hurt after an explosive device was detonated against them in a booby trapped house that they were searching. Different weaponry was uncovered while searching the house, including a machine gun and an explosives vest.

Summary of IDF Operations Overnight

Overnight, IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

Two rigged tunnels located near the security fence were uncovered by forces in the northern Gaza Strip. The forces fired at three terror operatives and uncovered many weapons in the area. In addition, forces uncovered a number of additional tunnels used by Hamas in the area.

Ground forces were involved in a number of incidents in which several armed gunmen were hit. Throughout the night, approximately 30 terror operatives were hit.  Fire was opened at IDF forces from the yard of a mosque, the forces returned fire.

Forces also spotted a number of terror operatives placing explosive devices in the outskirts of Gaza City and directed aerial forces that attacked them.

Different weapons were uncovered in a number of incidents including four mortar launchers, an explosive device, an explosives vest and a camera.

IAF aircraft attacked over 60 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including the following:

  • A hotel in which terror operatives were gathering in order to fire at IDF forces
  • A number of Hamas terror operatives who were rigging a house
  • A number of terror operatives located in the yard of a mosque
  • 15 tunnels on the Rafah border area
  • Over 10 launching sites
  • 10 Hamas outposts
  • Approximately 14 squads of armed gunmen
  • 7 weapons storage facilities
  • A weapons manufacturing facility located in the house of a Hamas terror operative
  • A launching squad
  • Dozens of additional targets attacked as assistance to ground forces

Israeli Navy boats assisted in enforcing the marine closure on the Gaza Strip in preventing the entering of boats that might arrive in the area.

One IDF soldier was severely wounded, one was moderately wounded, and six were lightly wounded in various incidents throughout overnight operations.


Jan 12: Summary of IDF Operations Today

During Monday's (Jan. 12) operations, IDF forces uncovered a tunnel built to allow terrorists to enter Israel and carry out large scale terror attacks. The entrance to the tunnel was located in a house 300 meters from the security fence.

 IDF ground forces hit a number of armed operatives in several incidents:

  • IDF forces hit a female terrorist who was about to carry out an attack against the forces.
  • Other forces discovered a house rigged with explosives in eastern Gaza City. The house was detonated in a controlled manner.
  • Armored Corps forces identified a squad of armed operatives launching mortar shells at IDF forces and responded with fire, hitting the squad.
  • Ground forces directed the IAF in striking squads of armed operatives during a number of clashes

The IAF targeted over 60 Hamas terrorist sites in Gaza on Monday (Jan. 12), including:

  • Over 20 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border
  • 9 squads of armed operatives
  • 2 mortar launchers
  • 9 rocket launching sites

Approximately 20 rockets and mortar shells were launched into Israel today. Two rockets directly hit houses in Ashkelon and Sderot, causing severe damage.
 
In addition, one IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the fighting today.

Midday Summary of Events

Since this morning IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

Ground forces were involved in a number of incidents in which several armed gunmen were hit.

A squad of terror operatives opened fire at ground forces from a mosque. The forces directed aerial forces that attacked the squad, and then searched the mosque, uncovering Kassam rockets and mortar shells.

In a different incident a force identified a number of armed gunmen and opened fire at them. The force later searched the area and uncovered a large amount of weaponry including anti aircraft missiles, mortar shells and machine guns.

In addition forces uncovered a tunnel and destroyed it while searching a house in the northern Gaza Strip. Another force identified a terror operative planting an explosive device and opened fire at him.

IAF aircraft attacked over 25 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including the following:

  • Eight squads of armed gunmen
  • Two mortar launchers
  • Four launching sites
  • Three structures
  • Two vehicles in which Hamas terror operatives were driving
  • Different targets as assistance to ground forces

Golani Brigade Forces Hit Gunmen during Last Night's Operations

Overnight, IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

In one incident, forces from the Golani Brigade reported hitting a number of armed gunmen during clashes in the northern Gaza Strip. Forces from the Givati Brigade uncovered one mortar shell. In a number of cases, ground forces assisted the aiming of aerial attacks against groups of armed gunmen.

IAF aircraft attacked over 10 targets overnight including five armed Hamas operatives, four weaponry storehouses in the houses of Hamas operatives, two tunnels dug under houses of Hamas operatives, one smuggling tunnel located under Gaza the border with Egypt and one rocket launching position.

Israel Navy ships accompanied the ground forces, provided assistance and attacked Hamas terrorist sites.


Jan 11: Summary of IDF Operations Today

IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip shot and hit more than 40 armed gunmen over the past day. Ground forces clashed with gunmen in various incidents throughout the day. In several cases, ground forces directed the Air Force in targeting armed operatives who were firing at them. Meanwhile, paratrooper forces uncovered weaponry, camouflage uniforms and communications equipment during searches.

- Video: IAF aborts strike to protect Palestinian civilians (Jan 11)

"We continue to face an insane reality of booby-trapped tunnels and booby-trapped schools. In one neighborhood of 150 homes, over 30 homes were found to be rigged with explosives," IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said. "Hamas is booby-trapping every home that is abandoned by its residents."

- Video: Gaza school and zoo wired with explosives (Jan 11)

Gaza school and zoo wired with explosives (Jan 11)


Armored forces hit various weapons storage facilities, some of them located in the homes of terror operatives. In one case, a tank squad identified a group of gunmen planting an explosive device, fired and confirmed hitting them.

The IAF targeted nearly 60 Hamas targets in Gaza throughout the day, including:

  • Over 20 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border
  • Approximately 15 cells of armed gunmen
  • Seven weapons production and storage facilities
  • Several rocket launching sites, including the launcher used to attack Be'er Sheva in the morning 

Among approximately 20 rockets and mortar shells were launched into Israel today, one Grad missile directly hit a kindergarten in Ashdod, causing severe damage.

There were no IDF casualties in the fighting today.

Summary of IDF Operations Overnight
 
Overnight, IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

Ground forces were involved in a number of incidents in which several armed gunmen were hit. In one of the incidents, forces identified a group of armed gunmen and directed aerial forces who attacked them. In a separate incident an IDF force in the northern Gaza Strip identified an armed gunman placing an explosive device and fired at him.

IAF aircraft attacked over 60 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including the following:

  • A mosque in the city of Rafah used for storing weaponry such as machine guns and sophisticated anti air-craft missiles. The mosque was also used as a training camp and a gathering place for Hamas members.
  • 10 weaponry storage facilities, some in houses of Hamas members.
  • 10 squads of armed gunmen
  • 9  tunnels used to smuggle weaponry in the Rafah area
  • 3 launching areas
  • An  under ground rocket launcher
  • The house of the Head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed Jabri
  • A Hamas police station

The IDF will continue its operations against all terrorists and those who support them.


Jan 10: Summary of Today's IDF Operations

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy. 

IDF forces operating in northern Gaza struck a number of armed gunmen, including a would-be suicide bomber strapped with an explosive belt. Ground troops aided IAF aircrafts identifying the location of several rocket launching squads and terror cells planting roadside bombs. 

The IAF attacked over 60 targets since the morning, including:

  • Two rocket launching squads near Jabaliya, shortly after they fired towards the Ashdod region
  • Ten launching points, several of which were hidden underground
  • Seven smuggling tunnels
  • An anti-aircraft launcher
  • Approximately ten weapons-storage and weapons-production facilities.
  • Two vehicles used to store and transport weaponry
  • Three Hamas outposts

In addition to this, Amir Mansi, the commander of the Hamas rocket launching program in the Gaza City area, was killed today by IDF fire in cooperation with the ISA. Mansi was the leading Hamas authority with regard to the long range Grad missile launching program.
 
Seven soldiers were wounded in separate incidents, all of them lightly.
 
The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to its operational plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.

Senior Hamas commander killed in Gaza operation

Amir Mansi, the commander of the Hamas rocket launching program in the Gaza City area, was killed today by IDF fire with assistance of the ISA. Mansi was also the leading Hamas authority with regard to the long range Grad missile launching program.

Among other activities Mansi directed and actively fired dozens of rockets at Israel, killing and wounding Israeli civilians. Mansi was spotted firing a rocket in the Jabel Rise area during a ground force operation today. The forces opened fire, killing Mansi and injuring two additional terror operatives.

Summary of IDF Operations Overnight

Overnight, IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

IDF ground forces were involved in a number of incidents in which several armed gunmen were hit. In one of the incidents, snipers opened fire at a force which responded with fire and identified hitting the gunmen. In a separate incident mortar shells were fired at an IDF force which returned fire, and with the assistance of the IAF targeted the squad of five terror operatives.

IAF aircraft attacked over 40 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including the following:

  • Ten rocket launching sites
  • One Anti-aircraft missile launcher
  • Fourteen weaponry manufacture and storage facilities
  • Five tunnels used to smuggle weaponry
  • A number of armed gunmen

Ground forces reported some 15 terrorists killed in exchanges of fire.

The Israeli Navy continued assisting ground forces throughout the night.

A mortar shell was fired into Israel during the night.

Five IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in the overnight fighting.


Jan 9: Summary of Today's Events

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

Throughout the day IDF forces operating in Gaza hit armed terror operatives in different incidents. An IDF ground force located a rigged house containing a number of land mines. Another force identified a anti tank rockets being fired at them, fired back and identified hitting the terror operatives who fired the anti tank missiles. In addition, the house used by terrorists that shot and killed Sergeant Amit Robinson yesterday was shot at by IDF forces today.

The IAF attacked over 70 targets since the morning, including:

  • Fifteen rocket launching areas
  • An armed launcher
  • A number of launching squads that launched rockets to Ashkelon earlier in the day
  • Three houses of Hamas terror operatives also used as weapons storage facilities
  • Two tunnels used for the smuggling of weaponry
  • Twenty ground force support areas
  • A hidden mortar shell
  • Twenty terror operatives
  • Four weapons storage facilities
  • A vehicle with armed terror operatives

- Hamas sniper and explosives layout revealed (9 Jan 2009)


IDF Naval forces operated last night hitting at least ten armed terror operatives. They continued assisting the ground forces throughout the night.

An IDF soldier was moderately wounded and two additional soldiers were lightly wounded during the day.

More than 30 rockets were fired at Israel throughout the day.

Following claims made yesterday of an IDF force shooting at a UN truck, an IDF investigation of the incident determined that the IDF did not shoot at the truck. On the contrary, the IDF would like to point out that the wounded from the incident were evacuated by the Red Cross, and later taken for medical treatment in Israel.


Summary of IDF Operations Overnight

 In the last half hour 4 Grad missiles hit the Beer Sheva region.

Overnight, IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

IAF aircraft attacked overnight more than 50 terrorist infrastructure sites, including the following:

  • Five sites used to launch rockets, one of which was adjacent to a mosque.
  • A weaponry storehouse.
  • A vehicle garage and an office.
  • Five weaponry production sites.
  • Groups of armed gunmen.
  • Hamas command buildings and outposts.

The Israeli Navy operated in front of Deir El Balah in the Central Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas rocket launching sites in order to thwart attempts to fire rockets at Israeli communities.


Jan 8: Summary of Today's Events as off 00:00

During today's three hour pause, meant for creating a humanitarian aid corridor for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, four Grad rockets and two Qassam rockets were launched, in addition to the fourteen other rockets and mortars launched throughout the day.

Overall, Israel transferred 89 humanitarian aid trucks to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. 315,000 liters of fuel, alongside 143 tons of natural gas were transferred through the Nahal Oz terminal, and 223 foreign nationals were permitted entry to Israel following requests from their respective governments.

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the ongoing support of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

In one incident this afternoon, a paratrooper force operating in the northern Gaza Strip uncovered an explosives lab and in it large amounts of explosives connected to two tunnels. The force detonated the tunnels in a controlled environment.

In another incident, infantry forces uncovered a tunnel containing various weapons including RPG missiles, AK-47 assault rifles, detonators for explosive charges, grenades, and knives.

In a joint IDF and ISA operation, IDF forces targeted and hit Islamic Jihad operative Tarek Abu Amshev, 22 from Beit Hanoun, who was involved in planting explosive devices against IDF forces and in the daily launching of rockets against Sderot and other communities in the region. Another operative, Mohamed Najar, 26 from Jebalya, was also hit in the attack.

IAF aircraft attacked more than 40 sites, including:

  • Three weapons storehouses, some of which were located in houses of Hamas operatives.
  • One tunnel used by Hamas operatives.
  • Seven rocket launching sites
  • Various sites pinpointed by ground forces. 

Two IDF officers and one soldier were killed during operations today, one soldier was severely wounded, one soldier was moderately wounded and 11 soldiers were lightly wounded.

One officer from the Kfir infantry brigade was killed and another soldier lightly injured when an anti-tank missile hit them in the central Gaza Strip. A Golani Brigade officer was also killed and another soldier lightly wounded during an exchange of fire in the Northern Gaza Strip. Another soldier, from an armored brigade, was killed in a separate gunfight, also in the Northern Gaza strip.

In another incident, an IDF soldier was severely wounded, another soldier was moderately wounded and five soldiers were lightly wounded when a rocket hit the Eshkol region.

Three soldiers were wounded in other incidents.

Summary of Today's IDF Operations

In a pinpoint operation conducted by IDF forces in coordination with the ISA this morning, soldiers targeted and identified hitting a number of Islamic Jihad operatives who in recent days launched rockets into Israel: Nasser Halil Hassan Ouda, 21; Muhammad Faez Yadeb Hanedi, 24; Anwar Abed al-Hafiz Abu Salem, 23.

The IAF attacked approximately 25 targets, including:

  • Nine weaponry storehouses, most of them hidden under Hamas operatives' homes
  • A number of weapons smuggling tunnels
  • Four rocket launching sites
  • A junction rigged with explosives, which operatives had planned to detonate against IDF forces
  • A vehicle carrying a rocket launcher
  • Two Hamas outposts
  • Five cells of armed operatives, some of which fired at IDF forces

Ground forces encountered and shot armed gunmen in several different incidents.
 
IAF, Navy and Artillery forces continued to support ground forces operating in Gaza, striking groups of gunmen approaching IDF units, as well as gunmen identified at rocket launching sites.

Summary of Overnight Events 

The operation in the Gaza Strip continued throughout the night, with infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operating in large numbers throughout the Gaza Strip, with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and Israel Navy.

 

The IAF attacked a number of targets, based on IDF and ISA intelligence, including the house of Yaser Natat, who was in charge of the rocket firing program in the Rafah area, and the house of Muhammad Sanuar, the commander of the Hamas "Khan Younis Brigade".

 

In addition, the IAF struck approximately 60 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including:

 

  • A mosque used as a weapons storage facilities and as a meeting place for Hamas terror operatives
  • A Hamas police structure
  • Fifteen tunnels used by Hamas terror operatives against IDF forces, some of which were located under houses
  • Ten weapons storage facilities
  • A number of armed gunmen
  • Fifteen launching areas and underground launching pads used to fire mortar shells at IDF forces    

The Navy, Air Force and Artillery Corps continued to assist the ground forces throughout the Gaza Strip, striking Hamas targets, groups of gunmen and terrorists identified in rocket launching areas and located near the forces.

 

One mortar shell was fired into the Western Negev overnight. One IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the overnight activity.


Jan 7: Summary of Today's Operational Activities

Over 20 rockets were launched today from the Gaza Strip to Israel, wounding two people.

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip. The Israel Air Force, Israeli Navy, and Artillery Corps all provided support and struck concentrations of Hamas fighters that were within range of the IDF forces. Rocket launching sites that were used for attacking IDF forces were also struck.

On a number of occasions, the ground troops came under fire from armed Hamas gunmen and responded with direct fire. One IDF soldier was moderately wounded and an additional eight soldiers were wounded in the fighting.

IAF aircraft attacked over 40 additional targets throughout the day, including a number of smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza, 14 rocket launching sites, 4 armed terror cells, a Hamas outpost, 9 tunnels dug under houses, and a weaponry storage facility.

IDF Opens Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC)

Today, the IDF opened a Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC) today, in Tel-Aviv. The center's aim is to coordinate between the different organizations operating in the field and those of the IDF and will not replace existing structures. The center will place highest priority to the evacuation of foreign nationals and to coordinating the flow of food, fuel and supplies of goods to the humanitarian organizations.

Organizations represented include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), USAID, World Food Program, the European Commission, the United Nations Special Coordintor for the Middle East (UNSCO), UNRWA, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as Israeli governmental agencies and IDF departments.

Summary of Overnight Events

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

Throughout the night IDF forces on the ground in Gaza clashed with several groups of gunmen and neutralized booby-trapped structures. Soldiers also uncovered a number of weaponry caches, large stores of explosives, and hiding tunnels. A soldier was lightly wounded during the operations.

The IAF struck over 40 targets throughout Gaza, including:

  • Rocket launching sites and bunkers used by armed terrorists
  • Groups of armed Hamas operatives
  • Various structures used by Hamas terror operatives
  • Over ten tunnels used by Hamas, some of them located under the homes of operatives. Large secondary explosions observed as a result of some of the strikes indicate the likely presence of explosives inside the tunnels.


Jan 6: Summary of Today's Events

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

Throughout the day IDF forces operating in Gaza uncovered many weaponry caches, rockets, roadside bombs and tunnels used by gunmen to ambush soldiers.

The IAF attacked over 40 targets since the morning, including:

  • A vehicle carrying an anti-aircraft missile launcher.
  • Eight smuggling tunnels used by Hamas to bring weaponry into the Gaza Strip.
  • More than ten groups of gunmen, including one identified planting a bomb.
  • Approximately 16 weapons-storage and weapons-production facilities.
  • Approximately five rocket-launching spots, including one hidden underground.

 An IDF soldier was killed and nine soldiers were wounded in operations in Gaza throughout the day.

The soldier, 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Alex Mashavisky of Be'er Sheva, was killed when gunmen opened fire at troops conducting searches in the northern Gaza Strip. Four other soldiers were lightly wounded in the incident. The forces returned fire and identified hitting the gunmen.

Five other soldiers were wounded in separate incidents, three of them moderately and two lightly.

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to its operational plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.

Summary of Overnight and Morning Activity

Combat in the Gaza Strip continued throughout the night and the morning, with infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operating in large numbers throughout the Gaza Strip, with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and Israel Navy.

 

Naval forces operated in the central Gaza Strip overnight, near Dir al-Balah. Several gunmen were killed during the operation.

 

Paratrooper forces operating in northern Gaza identified a suicide bomber approaching them in order to detonate himself against the soldiers. The troops fired at the man, causing his suicide belt to detonate. One soldier was lightly wounded in the incident.

 

A structure in Jabaliya was attacked in a joint IDF and ISA operation. Iman Siam, the head of the Hamas rocket launching program was known to be present in the house. Siam is one of the senior Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and founded the organization's rocket launching program, and is also the head of Hamas' artillery program throughout the Gaza Strip.

 

The IAF struck approximately 50 targets in Gaza, including:

 

  • Approximately 10 Hamas weapons-storage facilities, some of which were located in the homes of senior members of the organization: Mahmad Shatiwi, a Hamas battalion commander; Osama Tabesh, a Hamas company commander; Bassel Abu Wadi, a Hamas company commander; Ashraff Jouda, a senior Hamas commander.
  • Three Hamas weapons-storage facilities that also served as meeting places for senior members of the organization.
  • Two weapons-production facilities, one of which was located in the home of Iman Jallalah, a Hamas company commander.
  • Five Hamas headquarters and two Hamas police structures.
  • Two weapons-smuggling tunnels and a booby-trapped house covering tunnel entrances.

The Navy, Air Force and Artillery Corps continued to support ground forces in the northern Gaza Strip, striking Hamas targets, groups of gunmen and terrorists identified in rocket launching areas.

 

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to its operational plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.

In addition, the IDF Spokesperson Unit announces that an IDF officer was killed during in last night's operations in the northern Gaza Strip. The details of the event are still being investigated; however it is suspected that a tank shell was mistakenly fired at the force.


Jan 5: Friendly fire incident

Three IDF soldiers were killed, one was critically wounded, three were severely wounded and 20 soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded as a result of an IDF tank shell explosion fired in error during an operation in the northern Gaza Strip. The shell hit a structure where the soldiers were located. 

The families of the fallen and injured soldiers have been notified.

The incident occurred during an intensive battle waged by Golani Brigade soldiers against Hamas.

In the hours following the incident other scenarios were taken into consideration as the cause, including that the explosion was caused by an enemy anti-tank missile or that the structure was rigged with explosives, but these were later ruled out. 

The injured soldiers received initial medical treatment in the field before being evacuated by helicopters and vehicles to hospitals in Israel. Heavy IDF artillery fire provided cover for the evacuation. 

Golani Brigade commander, Colonel Avi Peled, sustained light injuries in the incident. Col. Peled oversaw the evacuation in the field and directed the artillery and aerial cover via communication systems. Only after all those injured were evacuated did the brigade commander seek medical attention for himself. 

Summary of events, as of 17:30
 
IAF planes had recently struck dozens of tunnels used by the Hamas terror organization, located along the Rafah border. The Hamas tunnel network is used for the smuggling of weapons, for the movement of Hamas terror operatives from the Gaza Strip and back, and is a part of the purchasing and supplying effort of the organization. During the operation IDF forces hit dozens of terror operatives.
 
The aerial and artillery forces also assisted the ground forces by attacking armed gunmen approaching them and striking launching areas from which Hamas fired rockets at the forces.
 
Furthermore, the IAF attacked over forty additional targets throughout the Gaza Strip.  These targets included a tunnel rigged with explosives, a number of weaponry storage facilities, among them houses of Hamas terror operatives, in one of which there was an underground tunnel, a number of weapons manufacturing sites, rocket launching areas, and a rocket launcher.

Summary of overnight activity

The IDF operation continued overnight with large infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operating throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and Israel Navy.

IAF planes struck over 30 targets including:

  • A mosque used for storing a large amount of weaponry
  • An underground bunker in the area of Gaza city. The attack caused secondary explosions indicating there were explosives inside. Tunnels in the area collapsed.
  • A number of tunnels in the area of Rafah used by Hamas terror organization as passages for terrorists in and out of the Gaza Strip and that formed part of the purchasing and supply system of the organization
  • Four houses of Hamas members that were used to store weaponry
  • A rocket launcher
  • A suspected anti-aircraft missile launcher  

Israel Navy boats assisted the ground forces and attacked a number of targets including rocket launching areas, a bunker and Hamas marine forces outposts.

An IDF officer and five IDF soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded in different incident of exchanges of fire in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.


Jan 4: Summary of events since this morning

Approximately thi30 rockets were launched today from the Gaza Strip to Israel, at least 12 of them Grad rockets.

IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israeli Navy.

Dozens of armed Hamas gunmen were hit in exchanges of fire with IDF forces since the beginning of the ground operation. During one of the heavy fire exchanges near Jebaliya (in the northern Gaza Strip) this morning, Staff Sergeant Dvir Emanueloff, 22, of Giv'at Ze'ev, was killed and another soldier was severely wounded.

The IAF attacked over 15 sites, including rocket launching sites and squads, armed gunmen, and a smuggling tunnel, as well as targeted three senior members of the Hamas terrorist organization:

  • Husam Hamdan, in Khan Yunis, was directly responsible for firing Grad rockets at the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ofakim.
  • Mohammed Hilo was responsible for Hamas' commando forces in Khan Yunis as well as for long range rocket launching against Israel.
  • Mohammed Shalfuh was a member of Hamas' commando forces and was involved in the launching of rockets.
     
    The attacks were a joint IDF and ISA operation.

The IDF stresses that the residents of Gaza are not the target of the operation. The Hamas terror organization operates amongst civilians, using them as "human shields."  Hamas is solely responsible for all injury caused to them.

Anyone who assists terror activity by hiding a terrorist or weaponry might be hurt. We call all civilians to keep away from rocket launching grounds.

Summary of overnight activity

The IDF operation continued overnight with large infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operating throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and Israel Navy.

During exchanges of fire overnight dozens of armed Hamas operatives were hit by the IDF.

IAF planes struck over 45 targets including tunnels, weapons storage facilities, mortar shell launching squads, and a number of mortar shell launching areas.

Israel Navy boats assisted the ground forces and attacked a number of targets including the Hamas intelligence headquarters in Gaza City, rocket launching areas, and Hamas marine forces outposts.

An IDF officer and an IDF soldier were severely wounded during the night. The families of the injured officer and soldier have been notified.

In addition 28 other soldiers were injured moderately and lightly. The soldiers received initial medical treatment at the scene and were transported to hospital for further treatment.

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.

Jan 3: IAF strikes additional Hamas targets; senior Hamas operatives targeted

Operation Cast Lead expanded

Since early Saturday morning (Jan. 3), the IDF has attacked over 40 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, all integral parts of the Hamas terror organization's infrastructure, including a training camp, weapons storage facility, smuggling tunnel, an armed rocket launcher and rocket launching bases.
 
Saturday (Jan. 3), terror groups have launched over 14 Kassam rockets and Grad missiles towards Israel. One Grad missile hit an apartment building in the city of Ashdod, wounding two Israelis. A short time after the attack, the IAF identified and destroyed the launchers used in the attack.
 
The IAF struck a vehicle transporting Senior Hamas Commander Mohammed Ma'aruf and an additional Hamas operative in Khan Younis early Saturday (Jan.3) afternoon. Ma'aruf was part of Hamas' military wing and served as an officer in the terror organization's ground forces.

Summary of Overnight Events

During the night, the IAF attacked a vehicle in which Mamduq Jammal was driving. Jammal is a Hamas battalion commander who is also involved in rocket launching and is in charge of the rocket launching squads in the Gaza City area.

Other Hamas terrorist targets attacked by IAF aircraft during the night:

  • A college building in El-Atatra used by Hamas for terrorist purposes. The college was a base for firing rockets at Israeli communities and was also used as a place of hiding and assembly by Hamas operatives.
  • The house of Hamas terror operative Ismail Renam in Bet-Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, which functioned as a weaponry storage, specifically for rocket launching equipment. Renam has a central role in the launching of Grad type rockets against Israel.
  • The house of Azadin Hadad, a Hamas terror operative in Gaza City, that was used to orchestrate terror activity and as a meeting place for terror operatives. Hadad is the head of the Hamas military group in eastern Gaza city.
  • A vehicle from which a Hamas operative loaded weapons into a storage place in Nuseirat.

The Israeli Navy also took part in the attacks, targeting a number of Hamas outposts, training camps and rocket launching sites.

Overall, more than 25 Hamas and other terrorist sites were attacked since yesterday evening. The forces reported accurate hits. All of the forces returned to their bases safely.


Jan  2, 2009: Summary of Today's Events

 The IAF recently attacked the house of Muhammad Madhun, a terror operative responsible for firing rockets into Israel.  Madhun's house was also used as a laboratory for the manufacturing of rockets and explosive devices and as a storage facility for rockets, mortar shells, and various weapons. The attack was carried out based on joint IDF and ISA intelligence.

 In addition, the IAF struck the house of Imad Akel in Nuseirat. Akel is a senior Hamas terror operative and his house was used as a large storage facility for weapons. Akel is one of the heads of the Hamas terror organization, and is the founder and one of the men heading Hamas' rocket (Grads and Kassams) and mortar efforts, in addition to being a weapons manufacturer. Large secondary explosions were seen following the attack proving the presence of large amounts of weaponry.

 Thirty five targets were attacked along the Gaza Strip since this morning. Among the targets:

  • Five tunnels in the Rafah border area.
  • Three weapons storage facilities including a rocket lathe in Khan Yunis.
  • Five Hamas outposts.
  • A number of launchers including the launcher including used to fire rockets into Ashkelon this morning.
  • A number of launching sites.

Over 30 rockets were fired into Israel falling in Ashkelon and the western Negev. Over 500 rockets were fired into Israel over the last week.

Summary of Overnight Events

Israeli air and naval forces attacked some 20 Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip during late night and early morning hours.

Among the sites targeted by the IDF:

  • A mosque in Jabaliya used as a terror hub by Hamas. The mosque was used as a storage site for a large amount of Grad missiles and additional weaponry. The strike set off a lengthy series of secondary explosions and a large fire, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque. The mosque was also used as a center of operations for Hamas, as a meeting place for its operatives and a staging ground for terror attacks.
  • Headquarters of the military wing of Hamas
  • A vehicle transporting anti-aircraft missiles
  • A tunnel used to smuggle weaponry
  • Rocket launchers armed and prepared for use
  • Weaponry manufacturing and storage facilities


Jan 1, 2009: Attack on houses of terror operatives in the northern Gaza Strip
 
Thursday evening (Jan. 1), IAF forces struck the house of Nabil Amrin, a senior Hamas terror operative, in Sheih Radwan - Gaza Strip. Amrin is a senior military terror operative and is Battalion Commander for the Hamas military branch. The house contained large stores of weapons and ammunition. Large secondary explosions were occurred following the air strike. These secondary explosions indicate the presence weapons stores.

Thursday afternoon, in a joint IDF and ISA operation, IAF forces struck the house of the senior Hamas operative Nizar Rayyan, in Jabaliya - northern Gaza Strip. Many secondary explosions also occurred following the strike, indicating weapons stores in the house. The house was used as massive weapons storage facility, as well as a military communications center. Located underneath the house was an escape tunnel for terror operatives of Hamas's military branch.

Based on intelligence information that was gathered by IDF and ISA forces, a number of Hamas targets were struck Thursday morning by IAF forces.

The targets include the house of Muhamad Fuad Barhud, (a senior terror operative in the Popular Resistance Committees) in Jabaliya.  Barhud is responsible a many Grad and Qassam rocket, and mortar shell attacks perpetrated against Israel from northern Gaza Strip. These terrorist activities are funded and supported by Hamas. Along with other locations, Barhud's house was used as a storage facility for various weapons including anti-tank missiles, rockets, and explosive devices that are used by both Popular Resistance Committees and Hamas.
 
The house of another terror operative, Hasin Drairy, was also attacked in the Sabra - northern Gaza Strip. This house was used as a storage facility for rockets and mortar shells, and the house was used as a lathe for rocket manufacturing.
 
In addition IAF forces struck, a weapon storage facility located in the house of Taufik Abu Ras. Abu Ras is a Hamas terror operative from A-Nusseirat. This house is also a weapons' manufacturing laboratory and a storage site of a wide variety of weaponry, including rockets and explosive devices.

Over 20 targets were struck since Thursday morning. The targets include weapons storage facilities, rocket launching sites, Hamas terror operatives, and smuggling tunnels used by Hamas.

Mosque used as Hamas weapon storage site struck

IAF aircraft struck a mosque in Jabaliya late Thursday night used as a terror-hub by the Hamas terror organization.

The mosque was used as a storage site for a large amount of Grad missiles, Kassam rockets and additional weaponry. The strike set off a lengthy series of secondary explosions and a large fire, caused by the ammunitions stockpiled in the mosque.

The mosque was also used as a center of operations for Hamas, as a meeting place for its operatives and a staging ground for terror attacks.
- Video: IAF bombs Gaza mosque, strike sets off numerous secondary explosions, caused by munitions stockpiled in the mosque

Summary of overnight events

Israeli air and naval forces attacked some 20 Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip during late night and early morning hours.

Among the sites targeted by the IAF:

  • The buildings housing Hamas' Ministry of Justice and Legislative Assembly, both situated in the Tel El-Hawwa government complex. Hamas Government sites serve as a critical component of the terrorist groups' infrastructure in Gaza.
  • Over five smuggling tunnels along the 'Philadelphi Route' used by Hamas to smuggle arms and terrorists in and out of Gaza.
  • A weaponry manufacturing and storage facility in central Gaza, under which a tunnel had been dug.
  • A command center of Hamas' police force in Rafah, as a well as a Hamas coastal authority outpost on the shore adjacent to Gaza City.

In addition, the Israel Navy targeted a number of Hamas outposts and rocket launching grounds.


Dec 31: Evening summary of IDF operations

Operation Cast Lead, which aims to reduce Hamas' capacity to launch rocket attacks against communities in southern Israel, is now in its fifth day. The IDF is engaged in a battle with Hamas and other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and does not aim to target the Palestinian civilian population.

Since the early morning hours on Wednesday, the IDF has attacked over 25 targets in the Gaza Strip. These include:

  • A mosque in Gaza City used as a as a storage site for Grad missiles and Kassam rockets, as well as a staging ground for launches. The strike set off numerous secondary explosions, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque.
  • Weaponry manufacturing and storage facilities in southern Gaza, including a storage site in the Khan Younis area where Amar Abu Ghalula, a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad's rocket infrastructure, was present. Three additional Islamic Jihad operatives were in the facility at the time of the IAF strike.
  • A tunnel in the Khan Younis area, used for the smuggling of operatives and weaponry.
  • A Hamas outpost and training camp in the Gaza City area, which was also used as a weaponry manufacturing site and place of assembly for senior members of the terror organization.
  • Rocket launching sites, several of which were underground, as well as a number of loaded Grad launchers.

In all the IDF has so far attacked 450 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Mosque used as rocket storage site targeted

IAF aircraft targeted a mosque in the Tel El Hawwa neighborhood in Gaza City on Wednesday afternoon that was used by Hamas as a storage site for Grad missiles and Kassam rockets, as well as a staging ground for rocket and missile launches. The most recent rocket launch from the mosque occurred this morning.
- IDF Video: Gaza City mosque used as Grad and Kassam rocket storage and launching site

The strike set off numerous secondary explosions, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque. In recent days joint IDF and ISA intelligence efforts produced information that terrorists were hoarding weapons in the mosque and carrying out rocket attacks against Israeli communities from its grounds, as well as using it as a place of hiding.

The IDF will continue to attack any target used for terrorist activity, and will not hesitate to strike those involved in terrorism against the citizens of the State of Israel even, if they cynically choose to operate from locations of religious or cultural significance.

IAF attack on senior Hamas officials' offices in Gaza City

Monday night (Dec. 30), the IAF struck the offices of the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh located in Gaza City. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's office was center for the planning, support and financing of terrorist activities against Israel. In addition, the offices of other Hamas ministers in the same area were attacked.

The IDF has attacked three structures in Hamas's government complex in the al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City over the past few days, including the Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Labor Ministry and the Construction and Housing Ministry. The buildings have been destroyed as a result of the attacks.

The IAF attacked 35 additional targets, including: tunnels in the Rafah border area, weapon storage facilities, Hamas outposts and an armed rocket launcher. 
 
Naval forces also attacked a number of targets in the Gaza Strip. including Hamas outposts, training camps, guarding vessels used by Hamas naval forces and rocket launching posts.


Dec 30:
IAF strikes Hamas government complex in Gaza City

On Tuesday morning (Dec. 30), IAF struck the Hamas government complex in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City.  During the aerial strike three seven-storey buildings that constitute the core of the terrorist organization’s government complex were severely hit and are no longer fit for use. The buildings include the offices of the ministers, vice ministers and senior personnel of Hamas's Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Labor Ministry and the Construction and Housing Ministry. 

Hamas tunnel network targeted in the southern Gaza Strip
 
A short while ago, the IAF attacked dozens of tunnels in the Rafah area which are a part of the tunnel network used by the Hamas terror organization. These tunnels were used for smuggling weapons as part of their terror activity in the Gaza Strip. Accurate hits were reported.
 
The tunnel network was also used for the passage of terror activists from Egypt to the Gaza Strip and back. These tunnels play a major role in supplying Hamas with the means of strengthening its ability to carry out terror.
 
Thirty additional targets throughout the Gaza Strip were also attacked today, including tunnels along the northern and southern Gaza strip, seven Grad and five Kassam rocket launchers, rocket launching cells, rocket launching sites, weapons manufacturing facilities, Hamas outposts, and armed terror operatives.
- IDF Video: Aerial attack on Grad rocket launchers
 
Secondary explosions were seen in many of the attacks proving the presence of large amounts of ordinance, explosive materials, and weapons in the area.

Summary of events overnight

Israeli air and naval forces attacked dozens of Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip during the early morning hours on Tuesday.

The targets included three buildings in the Hamas government complex in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood, Hamas training camps and outposts, stations held by the Islamist group's naval force, a vehicle transporting a stockpile of Grad missiles, rocket launchers, a weaponry manufacturing facility and sites used as headquarters by terror cells.

Two civilians and an IDF soldier were killed, and several civilians and soldiers were wounded from rocket and mortar attacks on Israel since Monday. In all, more than 70 rockets and mortar shells were launched from the Gaza Strip during that time.

Due to the incessant rocket attacks against Israeli towns, the IDF Home Front Command has revised and expanded its emergency directives for Tuesday to include all communities within a 30 kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip.

The instructions call for all schools to remain closed, the limiting of 100 individuals per fortified shelter and the discouraging of large gatherings outdoors.


Dec 29: Operation Cast Lead continues: IAF and Naval Forces strike Hamas

A short while ago, the IAF struck a Hamas vehicle loaded with dozens of Grad type missiles in the Jabaliya area, in the Gaza Strip. The vehicle was hit resulting in the secondary explosion of the Grad missiles in the vehicle.  According to IDF assessments, the missiles were being transferred by Hamas to a hiding location, fearing that the previous location was being targeted by the IDF, or were on route to missile launching sites.
- IDF Video: Aerial strikes

Late Sunday night (Dec.28), IDF forces struck dozens of Hamas targets including headquarters, weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, tunnels, missile launching pads, and equipment warehouses. 

Among the targets hit was the office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City. The IAF also targeted a weapons research and development center, located in the Rimel neighborhood of Gaza City, which was used as a laboratory to develop and manufacture explosives and was an integral part of the Kassam rocket manufacturing infrastructure. 

Hamas has been working tirelessly to extend the range and arsenal of their rockets and their developments have been demonstrated over the past few days. In February 2007, the Fatah Presidential Guard raided the facility and uncovered numerous weapons, including approximately 100 Kassam rockets, 250 RPG launchers, hundreds of assault rifles, lathes, and other materials used for rocket manufacturing.

Israel Naval Forces also struck a number of targets Sunday night, including Hamas vessels and posts. The Naval Forces reported direct hits.

More than 150 rockets and mortar shells have been launched at Israel since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead.
 
The IDF Spokesperson wishes to emphasize that the IDF will continue to act against anyone who harbors terrorists in their residence, provides support to terrorists and their activities, and forces their children and spouses to act as human shields.


Dec 28: Aerial strike on weapon development center in Gaza

The Israeli Air Force attacked a number of Hamas targets during the night, including Hamas outposts, weapon manufacturing facilities and a center for weapon research and development. The center, located in the Rimel neighborhood of Gaza City, was targeted in a combined IDF and the Israel Security Agency operation.

The IAF targeted buildings that were used as meeting places for senior leaders of Hamas. One of the structures hit housed explosives laboratories that were an inseparable part of the Hamas research and development program, and served as storage facilities for the terror organization. The development of these weapons took place under the auspices of senior lecturers who are Hamas operatives. Among the weapons that have been developed and manufactured at this site are Kassam rockets. Hamas has been working tirelessly to extend the range of the rockets, as has been shown during the past few days.

In February 2007 the Fatah Presidential Guard raided the facility and uncovered many weapons including approximately 100 Kassam rockets, 250 RPG launchers, hundreds of assault rifles, lathes, and materials used for rocket manufacturing.


Dec 27: IDF operation against terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip

Since this morning, the IDF attacked dozens of targets affiliated with the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip. The targets included command centers, training camps, various Hamas installations, rocket manufacturing facilities and storage warehouses. The vast majority of the casualties are terror operatives, most of whom were wearing uniform and working on behalf of terror organizations.

The Air Force activity came as a result of the continuation of terror activity by Hamas terror organization from the Gaza Strip, and the duration of rocket launching and targeting Israeli civilians.

The targets that were attacked were located by intelligence gathered during the last months and include Hamas terror operatives that operated from the organization's headquarters, training camps and weaponry storage warehouses.

IDF strikes Hamas targets in Gaza

The Hamas government leaders and operatives, which activate terror from within civilian population centers, are the sole bearers of responsibility for Israel's military response. This response is crucial for preserving Israel's security interests.

The IDF Spokesperson wishes to emphasize that anyone sponsoring terror, hosting terror in his house, housing terror in his basement and sending his wives and children to serve as human shields- is considered a terrorist.

IAF aircraft struck a number of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, including a mosque in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza city, from which many terrorist operations emanated. The mosque served as a base for terrorist activities. The IDF will continue to strike at any target that serves as a base for the terrorist activity against Israeli citizens. Those who are responsible for the attacks against residents of the south will not find refuge in any facility.

Underground missile launching pad purposely located in a residential area in Gaza
- View video

The operation is ongoing and will continue for as long as is necessary, pending security assessments by the General Staff the IDF Chief of Staff. The IDF is ready to widen and deepen its activity against all terror organizations in the Gaza Strip, as long as it is necessary.

In addition, the Homefront Command and emergency authorities, took all necessary measures for preparing the civilian population.

The IDF also wishes to inform the Israeli public that it must prepare itself for continued rocket fire by Hamas. The patience and resilience of the Israeli public is required. The Israeli public is requested to listen to IDF Spokesperson Announcements and follow directions given by the Home Front Command in order to ensure their safety.

 
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