Tensions are at the boiling point in the Middle East after Israel assassinated Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari and the Palestinians responded by launching 83 missiles into Israel. The Israeli Government announced the launch of ‘Operation Pillar Of Defense’ to put an end to the constant barrage of missiles than have been fired into the Jewish State by Hamas, and their proxies, since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. According to the IDF, over 12,000 rockets have struck Israel in the past 12 years; 768 since the beginning of 2012.
Israel was able to intercept 25 of the incoming rockets with the Iron Dome defense shield. The Jerusalem Post reported minor damage and no serious casualties:
“Six rockets landed near Beersheba, one causing damage, and Channel 2 reported that for the first time, a rocket was fired toward Dimona, home to Israel’s nuclear reactor. One rocket struck a house in Ashdod, and another damaged electric infrastructure in Eshkol.”
Earlier today, Hamas declared “open war” with Israel over the assassination of Jabari and called upon Egypt to assist them in their fight. Israel responded to the threats with dozens of air and naval strikes in Gaza, killing at least ten suspected terrorists. The Israeli Defense Force reports Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza have been deliberately storing their weapons in civilian residences in an attempt to deter Israel from attacking and in order to blame Israel for committing war crimes if innocent civilians are killed.
Serious concern has been raised over the report that a rocket was fired at the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona. Israel acknowledges the existence of the site, but refuses to either confirm or deny its suspected purpose in a policy known as nuclear ambiguity. Information about the facility remains highly classified. The facility is undoubtedly hardened against rocket fire and the Israeli government has announced that the reactor will be shut down in the event a full scale war breaks out.
The name chosen for the Israeli operation is based on the Hebrew Pillar of The Cloud from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. The Bible teaches that God placed before a pillar of cloud and flame before the people of Israel to guide their way out of slavery and to strike terror into the heart of the ancient Egyptians.
“Exodus 14:19-20: Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.”
An Israeli Army spokesman emailed John Cook at Gawker to explain the importance of the name:
“The name is not a direct, word-for-word translation. Like most translations, it is an attempt to convey the spirit of the name, rather than a simple Google Translate.”
“Regardless of the religious implications, the bible plays an important cultural role in Israel. I think that every example of Bible quotes you cited has defensive connotations, rather than “vengeful.””
At present, we can only hope the two sides will once again be convinced to reach a cease fire and this latest conflict will not lead to a major war in the Middle East. The Inquisitr will update as more information becomes available.
UPDATE 6:00 pm CST:
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Ynet News have confirmed the Government of Israel has authorized the IDF to call up Israel’s military reserves.
Ynet related the following details about the call-up:
“Israel’s security cabinet voted on Wednesday to allow a call-up of army reservists “according to need” as the Jewish state launched a campaign against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.”
“In a meeting “it was decided…to permit the IDF (army), according to need and with the approval of the defense minister, to call up reservists,” a cabinet statement said.”
“An army spokesman told AFP that some notices had been issued to specific personnel but there was no general call-up.”