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Bob Freedman, CEO Jewish Federation of Manitoba


by Jewish Federation of Manitoba, posted November 15, 2012


Update on Operation Pillar of Defense

November 15, 2012

Events continue to escalate in Israel as Operation Pillar of Defense continues. Please read this update from David Weinberg, Israel Office Director for CIJA. The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has not received requests from Israel for financial support, but we will advise you if this changes.

"Intense rocket fire continued from Gaza overnight (more than 200 missiles fired into Israel), and an Israeli family of three was killed when a missile struck their home in Kiryat Malachi north of Ashkelon. 70 Israelis have been injured in the Hamas attacks.

Iron Dome continues to intercept many - but not all - rockets (perhaps 50 interceptions) that have been fired at Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon. Ofakim, Yavne, and Dimona were targeted as well.

Israeli air strikes in the Khan Yunis region have resulted in the death of three additional Hamas operatives, and leaflets have been dropped in Gaza urging residents to stay away from launching facilities and weapons depots. Israel has struck more than 200 targets in Gaza. The IDF released aerial maps and videos showing Hamas missile depots and launchers adjacent to kindergartens, mosques and gas stations. Defense Minister Barak says that most Hamas missile depots with missiles that can hit Tel Aviv -- have been destroyed by Israel air force strikes.

Israeli ground forces are amassing on Gaza border, as the cabinet yesterday authorized reserve call-ups of soldiers in the home front command and some key combat units -- although the extent of the call-up unclear due to military censorship. Reserve soldiers have been recruited to Special Forces, including military reconnaissance squads, emergency forces, and others. Engineering tools and tanks are being moved into Israel's south. The IDF has sealed off many areas as closed military sites near the Gaza Strip, indicating a concentration of military forces in the region.

Beersheba and Ashkelon are emptying out, as residents flee northwards. There were gigantic traffic jams last night at the exits from Ashdod too. Even schools in Jerusalem are sending students home early today, so that nobody has to travel after nightfall. Neighborhood committees in central Israel are organizing to take in residents from the south for several days stay, at least. Some critical industrial have been facilities nationalized under emergency regulations. Soroka (Beersheba), Barzilai (Ashkelon), and Sheba (Tel Hashomer) hospitals were put on emergency footing (meaning that most non-critical patients are being transferred elsewhere).

Israeli politicians Yachimovich (Labor), Mofaz (Kadima), Lapid (Yesh Atid), Olmert and Livni have backed the government's assault on Hamas terrorist infrastructures and leadership. Galon (Meretz) and Tibi (United Arab List) criticize the operation. Abbas of the PA has been silent. Egypt recalled its ambassador (for the moment, this is considered a mild Egyptian reaction), and Morsi called the operation "unacceptable." Following a divisive emergency Security Council meeting, Secretary General Ban merely expressed concern over the attacks.

Defense Minister Barak says this morning that difficult days are ahead."

Click below for links to additional information:

Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's Update on Operation Pillar of Defense
Jerusalem Post
The Times of Israel

For more information, please contact Shelley Faintuch, Community Relations Director, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and Associate Director, Local Partner Services, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: 204-477-7423 or [email protected].



From the Desk of Bob Freedman-Update

November 14, 2012

-After months of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza-based terrorists, the IDF has launched a widespread campaign to disrupt terrorist infrastructure and operations in the Hamas controlled territory. The operation began with a precision air strike targeting Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas military commander directly linked to numerous terrorist operations including the kidnap of Gilad Shalit. The IDF has also targeted a significant number of long range rocket sites controlled by Hamas to deplete their cache and reduce their launch capability.

More than 800 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel from Gaza this year, targeting more than one million Israeli civilians. On November 10th, an anti-tank missile attacked an IDF jeep on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, followed by a barrage of more than 120 rockets and mortars fired into Southern Israel. These attacks have marked a sharp escalation in volume, sophistication and range, including advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

On November 11th, Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri declared that “an occasional lull in the fighting was nothing more than a time-out devoted to preparing the fighters of the various organizations by increasing their might and weapons.” Israel has demonstrated patience and restraint but, in light of these dangerous and escalating conditions, is duty-bound to respond in an effort to protect its citizens.

Hamas must be held accountable for its aggression and escalation.

Israel has chosen the most precise and strategic military option available that best serves to limit collateral damage and is least likely to exacerbate the situation. The objective of specifically targeting terrorist leadership and infrastructure in this way is to force Gaza-based terrorist groups to cease their attacks. Israel is acting in self-defence out of a responsibility to protect its citizens.

We expect that hostilities will continue to escalate with the potential for more sophisticated and longer reaching weapons deployed by Hamas. There are reports of Israeli troops mobilizing to the south of the country, which could signal a potential ground operation.

Both the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs are monitoring the situation closely.

For more information, please contact Shelley Faintuch, Community Relations Director, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and Associate Director, Local Partner Services, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: 204-477-7423 or [email protected].

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