Operation Pillar of Defense
|Saul Roth||November 15th 2012|
Wolrd Jewish Daily
Hamas terrorists committed war crimes against Israeli civilians Thursday, deliberately targeting civilians and killing three in Kiryat Malachi. Two men and a woman were killed Thursday morning when a rocket fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip struck their fourth-floor apartment. Five others were wounded, including two infants. Hamas has fired more than 200 rockets on Israel since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, which seeks to reinstate Israeli deterrence in the face of incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Israel lauched the surprise attack on Wednesday by killing Hamas' top military commander and striking at least 20 arms depots. Thousands of Gazans attended the funeral of Ahmed Jabari Thursday, vowing revenge.
U.S. President Barack Obama expressed support for Israel's actions in a Wednesday call with Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. Hamas, Obama said, must stop its rocket fire on Israel. At the same time, Israel should make every effort to avoid civilian casualties, he added.The Israeli army called up a limited number of reserves Wednesday in anticipation of a possible ground assault on the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a press conference on Wednesday night that they would no longer tolerate missile attacks on Israeli civilians, and that further IDF military action was planned. According to the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu said that "Israel has sent Hamas a clear message that it is prepared to defend its citizens," and noted that no country on earth would tolerate constant rocket attacks on its citizens.
Barak spoke briefly, and said that Israel is at the beginning, not the end, of its retaliation. He said there were three goals to the operation: To end the rocket attacks, to deal Hamas a serious blow, and to reestablish Israel's deterrence.
In an earlier call with Obama, President Shimon Peres said that Ahmed Jabari was a mass murderer who had blood on his hands. He also told the president that he had visited the children of Sderot and asserted that "There is a limit to what the south can endure."