Jul 12, 2014

Day 5: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Dear Friends,

As Shabbat ends, we bring you this brief update of latest events in Israel. As many of you know, Shabbat in Israel is always a special experience. However, this Shabbat was spent alert to the possibility of rockets falling at any moment. The concern followed every citizen of Israel in every activity and wherever they went.

Over Shabbat, we had to run to shelters once here in Jerusalem. Across the country, people have been using their shelters consistently for the past five days. And now, with the increased scope of the rockets and the added threat of attacks from the north, no Israeli is free from this threat.

As I walked back to our hotel from the Western Wall with the CCD Mission on Friday night, we were inspired as we bumped in to four different Birthright groups. There are currently 3,600 Birthright participants in the country, and organizers are doing an excellent job at adjusting itineraries in light of the security situation, while still keeping the programs on track.

They are ensuring an inspirational experience for all, while still placing safety and security as the highest priority. We could sense the tremendous positive energy being generated in this transformational experience, and participants seemed to be minimally phased by the situation on the ground. We were all very moved, and highly impressed.

I hope the week ahead will bring peace and security to all of Israel.

Shavua Tov,

Jerry

THE SITUATION

• Hamas has continued its rocket barrage against the country. Around 200 rockets have been fired at Israel since Friday morning
• Both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were targeted throughout Shabbat as well as numerous other locations.
• Rockets fired today soon after 7:30 p.m. landed in Hebron and Bethlehem, predominantly Arab cities, Hebron has a population of 250,000 Palestinians; Bethlehem, 25,000 Palestinians.
• Hamas announced, in advance, a barrage of rockets against the center of the country at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night, and followed up with numerous rockets, on time, at Tel Aviv and other locations.

IMPACT

• A rocket fired from Gaza earlier today fell short and landed on a UNRWA warehouse causing a large fire.

IDF RESPONSE

• The IDF has been warning Gaza residents living near the border to leave their homes, presumably in advance of a possible ground offensive.
• The IAF continues to target terror hubs in Gaza from the air.
Houses of Hamas leaders have been targeted
Weaponry and rocket launchers are located right next to a Gazan school

JFNA

• JFNA will be welcoming a solidarity mission to Israel, Sunday afternoon.

For more information:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/no-end-to-gaza-rocket-fire-israeli-air-strikes-on-day-5-of-hamas-conflict/