Iron Dome in action (file)
Iron Dome in action (file)Israel news photo: Flash 90

Although over 250 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of operation "Pillar of Defense," according to IDF spokespersons, things could have been worse still.

Since the start of Wednesday's military operation, the Iron Dome system has intercepted over 80 rockets, en route to cities in the south of the country.

The IDF spokesman also said that the IDF continued to use air force Thursday and carried out more than 150 air strikes aimed at known rocket launching sites in Gaza, noting that the air force succeeded in inflicting significant damage to the sites. Since the beginning of the operation, the Air Force has hit over 200 targets throughout Gaza. The purpose of the attacks is to disrupt launching capabilities, destroy the terrorists' weapons stockpiles and to prevent the terrorists from continuing their rocket assaults towards Israel.

Military officials said that the targets hit were identified by accurate intelligence accumulated from months' worth of data.

Although the strikes were successful, terrorists within Gaza still succeeded Thursday in carrying out hundreds of rocket attacks, prompting warnings from government officials to the people of the south to stay off of the streets Thursday and to stay as close to bomb shelters as possible.

Doing its best to avoid civilian casulaties, the IDF has called thousands of residents in Gaza by phone to warn them of possible strikes and dropped leaflets in Gaza warning civilians to "avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives," the IDF said.

The IDF also said they often target a building "with a loud but non-lethal bomb that warns civilians that they are in the vicinity of a weapons cache or other target. This method is used to allow all residents to leave the area before the IDF targets the site with live ammunition."

And "whenever possible," the IDF said, it "singles out terrorists and targets them in a way that will endanger few or no bystanders."