Hamas’ missile and rocket war on southern Israel is 11 years old today (Tuesday), 12,500 rockets later. More than 40 people have been killed, thousands have been wounded and property damage and economic losses has been immeasurable.
Since the beginning of 2012, terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza have attacked Israel with 269 rockets and missiles – a rate of more than two a day, according to the IDF.
Mainstream media usually focus on Israeli military retaliations and occasional large-scale aerial bombings of terroroists, but the “Oslo War,” also known as the Second Intifada, has been carried out on a day-to-day basis for more then a decade, leaving a new generation growing up with the almost daily trauma of running to bomb shelters and suffering shock amid explosions, some of them harmless physically and some of them lethal.
IDF spokesmen pointed out Tuesday that Gaza is the same area where the government headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expelled 9,000 Jews and destroyed their homes in June 2005 as part of his “Disengagement” program. Farm facilities were turned over to the Palestinian Authority, which promptly turned most of them into training grounds for terrorist militias, while the IDF staged a total withdrawal from the area.
Years after the rocket barrage began, President Shimon Peres expressed his surprise that Hamas attacks southern Israel with missiles despite the expulsion, which Sharon and his supporters would end attacks from Gaza.
During the 11-year missile barrage, the IDF momentarily entered Gaza several times to try to put a stop to the attacks, and the three-week Operation Cast Lead campaign two years ago achieved a two-month lull, until missile attacks resumed.
Since then, the IDF took up a more defensive position and developed the costly Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has been proven highly effective in knocking out incoming missiles but leaves more than 1 million residents defenseless when the system fails.
The IDF said that the Iron Dome has intercepted 56 rockets of 73 that were directly threatening civilian communities.