Operation Protective Edge (Hebrew: מבצע צוק איתן - Mivtsa Tzuk Eitan) was launched on July 8, 2014, with the aim of restoring security to the south of the country, which had suffered numerous rocket attacks. After nearly 50 days of fighting, on land and in the air, a ceasefire was established.
In June 2014, the IDF was in the middle of Operation Brother’s Keeper in Judea and Samaria. Hamas and other terrorist organizations significantly increased rocket fire at civilian-populated areas in southern Israel. Within three weeks, nearly 250 rockets were fired, forcing the IDF to react.
On July 7, the IDF carried out numerous air attacks aimed at Hamas arms caches, launch ramps, and terror infrastructures. Sirens were heard in most of the cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. On average, a rocket was fired every ten minutes from the Gaza Strip. A rocket even reached the city of Haifa in northern Israel, lengthening Hamas’s reach. Over the course of the operation, the Iron Dome intercepted hundreds of rockets.
On July 14, Hamas rockets injured two Israeli girls, ages 11 and 13. While the IDF was doing everything in its power to protect Israeli citizens, Hamas used Gazans as human shields, and often used mosques, clinics and even UN schools to fire rockets at Israel.
On July 15, as a result of ceasefire initiatives on the political level, the IDF suspended its activity, but Hamas ignored it and fired nearly 50 rockets at Israel. That evening, an Israeli civilian was killed by rocket fire near the Erez Crossing, near the Gazan border. During the operation, Hamas violated eight ceasefires, which were all respected by the IDF.
On July 17, a dozen Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel via underground tunnels to attack a kibbutz near the border. Hamas violated the humanitarian truce that began that afternoon. That evening, the IDF launched the ground phase of the operation to destroy the tunnel network in Gaza. The IDF began destroying the terror tunnels within 24 hours. (Continued in comments)
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