Pillar of Defense! – Live Blog

10:05 – I’m completely exhausted and emotionally drained.  I believe the ground assault may begin in the next few hours, but I won’t be able to report on it.  I’m relying on the wonderful community here to keep each other informed below.  My prayers are with the soldiers getting ready to move out.  – JW

21:30 IDF forces commenced a broad offensive in the northern part of the Gaza Strip

9:11 P.M. Israel’s Broadcasting Authority preparing emergency broadcasts ahead of Sabbath. Educational channels to broadcast only calming programs for children.

19:05 P.M. IDF spokesman says no missiles land in Tel Aviv, adding that residents of central Israel should prepare for a “not quiet” night.

18:54 Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for the Fajr missile that it says it fired at Tel Aviv minutes ago, Channel 10 reports.There were no reports of injuries in the rocket strike.
18:40 Israeli media is reporting that air raid sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War. Sirens also went off in the Tel Aviv suburbs of Bnei Brak, Givatayim, and Ramat Gan.

Tel Aviv is located approximately 65 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and has a population of over 1 million.

18:22 P.M. Classes cancelled again on Friday for all kids living within 40 km of Gaza.

18:08 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Be’er Sheva.

17:57 – Senior Hamas figures have claimed that Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil is expected to visit the Gaza Strip Friday in protest of the Israeli offensive. (AFP)

17:51 – COLOR RED- Multiple warnings many locations

17:48 – Report: Egypt will send high level government delegation to Gaza tomorrow.  Ehud Yaari says both Egypt and Hamas are desperate to prevent an Israeli ground operation in Gaza.

17:42 – COLOR RED Sdeirot

17:40  Following the IDF’s announcement of a limited call-up of reservists, a senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem tells Israel Radio that a far larger call-up is expected because the IDF has planned to send ground force into the Gaza Strip.

The source adds that Israel is not interested in getting dragged into a prolonged ground operation, and that Hamas’s reaction to Operation Pillar of Defense determines the future of the IDF’s operation. Pillar of Defense is not expected to end anytime soon, he says; it won’t be a matter of days, rather, a matter of weeks.

17:26 The names of the three people killed this morning in Kiryat Malachi were cleared for publication late Thursday afternoon. Aharon Smadga, 49, Itzik Amsalem, 24, and Mirah Sharf, 26 will all be buried Thursday evening.

According to Chabad sources, all three victims were members of the Chabad community. Sharf, who was pregnant, was a Chabad emissary in India. She was visiting Israel to attend a special service marking the anniversary of the attack on the Chabad House in 2008, killing nine, including Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

17:29 – COLOR RED- Multiple warnings many locations
17:15 – Hamas on Thursday said they would not consider a truce with Israel for the moment, Agence France Presse reported.

Three rockets were intercepted near the port city of Ashdod by the Iron Dome missile batteries stationed in the area.

The Israeli Air Force’s Iron Dome systems have downed at least 100 rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations in the past 24 hours.


Channel 2 is now reporting that there was a confirmed rocket strike near Rishon Letzion, on the southern edge of Israel’s heavily populated Gush Dan region.

No injuries or damage were reported

There were unconfirmed reports that there was an explosion outside Be’er Yaakov, a small agricultural settlement outside the city of nearly 300,000.


Sirens have sounded in Rishon Letzion, 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Tel Aviv. This is the furthest north that sirens have been heard yet.  Rishon Letzion is approximately 55 kilometers (35 miles) north of the Gaza Strip.

A resident of Rishon reported he heard loud sirens and “a boom,” though there was no confirmed rocket strike in the city, Israel’s fourth largest.

Sirens were also reported in Holon, which borders Tel Aviv, according to Israel Radio.

The IDF said it destroyed depots of long range Fajr rockets at the beginning of the Pillar of Defense operation.

16:50 – COLOR RED- Rishon Lezion

15:45 – Over 180 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel in the last 24 hours, since Operation Pillar of Defense was launched.

15:24 – 14:52 – COLOR RED Sdeirot

15:19 – COLOR RED Sdeirot

15:04 – 3 injured by mortar shell in Eshkol


14:58 – COLOR RED Nachal Oz

14:55 – COLOR RED Or Hanahar

14:52 – COLOR RED Sdeirot

4:35 – COLOR RED Ashkelon

14:30- COLOR RED Nachal Oz

14:18 – COLOR RED Kiriat Gat

13:56 – COLOR RED Ashkelon

13:53 – 6 rockets hit Eshkol; none injured

13:11 P.M. Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “We’re in the midst of a struggle. It isn’t certain they it’ll be short, but we’re determined to regain deterrence”

1:23 PM -Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood urges citizens to protest against Israel

12:51 – 5 rockets fired at Beersheba, Ofakim, Shaar Hanegev

12:49- COLOR RED – Beersheba, Netivot

12:47 – COLOR RED Netivot

12:38 – COLOR RED Nachal Oz

12:35 – COLOR RED Ashkelon

12:32 – Qassam hits Sderot home; none injured

12:06 – Rocket barrage fired on Ashkelon intercepted

12:05 – COLOR RED Sdeirot

11:43 – COLOR RED Kerem Shalom

11:43 – COLOR RED Reim

11:35 – COLOR RED Karmia

11:18 – Tens of thousands of people gathered at the funeral of Hamas military chief Ahmed Al-Jabari, who was assassinated Wednesday in an IAF strike in Gaza.  Rockets expected to intensify afterwards.

10:56 – COLOR RED Ashkelon

10:43 – COLOR RED – Kiriat Malachi Ashdod

10:35 – COLOR RED – Kiriat Malachi

10:27 – COLOR RED – Ashkelon

10:16 – Rocket hit in Kiryat Gat. One person suffered shock, building sustained slight damage.

10:10 – Six mortar shells were fired in the direction of Eshkol Regional Council.

9:30 – Three rockets that were fired in the direction of Ashdod were intercepted.

9:29  – COLOR RED – Ashdod

9:24 – COLOR RED – Ashdod

9:22  COLOR RED – Beer Sheva

9:13  COLOR RED – Beer Sheva Ashdod

9:11 – Three Killed by rocket in KiriatMalachi

9:07 COLOR RED – Beer Sheva Ashdod

9:04 – 5 rockets fired at Kiryat Malachi intercepted

9:02 – A building was hit in Kiryat Malchi. People are trapped in the building. Injuries were reported.

8:58 AM: Rocket from Gaza hits a house in southern Israel. 133 rockets fired from Gaza during the last 24 hours.

8:58 – The IAF launched a strike at the cell that fired rockets from the Gaza Strip at the direction of Kiryat Malachi, where five people sustained injuries.

8:58 – COLOR RED Ashdod

8:53 – COLOR RED Beer Sheva

8:45 – A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a four-story building in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday, causing injuries to five people. MDA paramedics stated that three of the injured were in serious condition.

8:38 – Property damage in Eshkol

8:35 – COLOR RED Ashdod

8:34 – Yeshiva in Kiryat Malachi hit; 2 injured; one light one moderate

8:32 AM: Since midnight, the Iron Dome has intercepted 13 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel.

8:30 – Two rockets intercepted over Ashkelon

8:28 – School in Ofakim hit overnight; no injuries

8:24 – 6 rockets fired at Gan Yavne

8:21 – Egypt Muslim Brotherhood: Sever all ties with Israel

8:13 – 4 rockets hit Eshkol, 1 near Beersheba; no injuries

8:03 – Rockets intercepted over Beersheba, Ashkelon

8:00 – COLOR RED – Beersheba, Ashkelon

7:56 – 4 rockets fired at Beersheba intercepted

7:47 – COLOR RED Beer Sheva

7:41 – A rocket that was fired on Ashdod was intercepted. Another rocket hit an open area.

7:31 – The IDF dropped leaflets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning warning Palestinian civilians to stay away from terrorists.

7:30 – COLOR RED – Ashdod

7:11 – Two rockets landed inside the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.

7:01 AM – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired five Grad rockets toward Beersheba Thursday morning.
The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted one of the rockets, and the rest landed in open areas.


11:36 – Ch 3 reporter in Ashdod is drowned out by the roar of IDF warplanes on their way to Gaza.  Channel forced to switch to other reporter.

:11:24 – Live vid of Iron Dome intercepting rockets over Ashdod.  Over 70 rockets tonight so far.

10:17 P.M. Summary of Gaza rocket fire toward Israel’s south: 60 rockets were fired on Wednesday from Gaza at Israel’s south; 48 toward Be’er Sheva, Dimona and Ofaqim; 12 toward Ashdod, the Lachish area and Sha’ar Havegev Regional Council; Iron Dome batteries intercepted 17 rockets (Damn, I can’t help myself. – JW)

10:30 – Exhausted and emotionally drained, (but inspired!) I have to crash so as to be able  to continue tomorrow morning.  Thank you to all who sent “God’s speed” to our boys.  With his blessing, Israel will prevail… –  JW

10:08 – Ten rockets have exploded in the Eshkol regional council during the last 20 minutes. One of the rockets struck an electrical wire causing blackouts in some parts the area.

10:00 PM – More than 50 rockets fired.  Iron dome downs 18.

9:52 – COLOR RED

9:49 – A rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza struck a home a in Ashkelon on Wednesday, according to police.  The rocket did not injure anyone, but did cause damage to the building.

9:32 – Ehud Yaari: Egypt’s Morsi’s response is weak and seeks to end this ASAP.

9:15 – Netanyahu: If there will be a need the IDF is preparing for a larger operation.

9:15 – My Chail HaYam (Navy)  is shelling the enemy.

9:10 – Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday called on Arab States, especially Egypt, to stop the “barbaric” Israeli assault.

8:59 P.M. Report: Israel denies Egyptian request to cease Operation Pillar of Defense

8:56 – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired a Grad rocket toward Dimona Wednesday night, Channel 2 reported. No injuries or damages were reported from the attack. It was not immediately clear where the rocket struck.

8:45 – COLOR RED – Dimona

8:45 – COLOR RED

8:39 – Witnesses in Gaza Wednesday night reported a number of Israeli strikes in the Strip in recent minutes, including reports of explosions coming from the sea, Palestinian news agency Maan reported. Maan reported that air and naval bombardments are reaching the Gaza Strip, with witnesses adding that IDF combat soldiers are reaching towards the border.

Other Palestinian reports said a car was targeted west of Gaza City.

8:37 – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that no country in the world would accept a situation in which rockets are fired at its citizens, saying that Israel will not accept such a situation, speaking Wednesday night.

7:48  – Explosion in house of Hamas cofounder Mahmoud al-Zahar, in Gaza

8:35 – COLOR RED

8:23 – The Iron Dome rocket defense system successfully intercepted a total of 15 rockets on Wednesday evening, Channel 2 reported.

8:22 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli attack on the Gaza strip and demanded that all aggressions stop immediately. He requested that Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby hold an emergency meeting with all the permanent members.

8:21 – Shimon Perez to Obama: “There is only so much we can take.”

8:18 = COLOR RED – Ber Sheva

8:16 – Six rockets from the Gaza strip hurled toward Beersheba on Wednesday evening, Army Radio reported.

One rocket hit a shopping center of the city, according to the report, while other media reported that a vehicle was struck. No injuries were reported.

8:16 – Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized on Wednesday the call-up of reservists after announcing a widespread campaign on terror targets in Operation Pillar of Defense, according to Army Radio.

8:13 – Palestinians in Gaza Wednesday night reported a number of Israeli strikes in the Strip in recent minutes. Other Palestinian reports said a car was targeted west of Gaza City.

8:12 = COLOR RED – Ber Sheva

7:58 = COLOR RED – Ber Sheva – massive grad attack – at least 10

7:58 = COLOR RED – Ber Sheva

7:36 – Shimon Perez calls Obama to explain why Israel needed to take out Jabri.

7:27 – Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council have been instructed to stay in bomb shelters until further notice.


6:55 – All citizens within 40 KM from Gaza to stay near shelter tomorrow.  All schools to be closed.

6:37 – Israel starts emergency call up of reservists, says they’re prepared for ground invasion of Gaza – Reports




6:05 – The IDF said on Wednesday that it is prepared for a ground operation in Gaza, if necessary.

“All options are on the table,” the IDF spokesman said. “If necessary, the IDF is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza.”

5:55 PM – The IDF has decided to move some decisions to the south ahead of a possible ground offensive in Gaza. (Yoav Zitun)

5:55 PM – A short lull in rocket fire as the terrorists groups are meeting to decide where and when to retaliate.  Ch 2 is sounding quite worried about what is coming.  From Ehud Yaari.  Islamic Jihad announced that despite the IDF’s claim to have taken out their long range weapons, Israel would learn in the near future the truth.

5:24 PM – Hamas announces that the assassination will bring war.

5:20 PM – Reporting that among the first targets were Hamas’s supply of Fajr-5 missiles, their long range missiles that can reach TA.  Unclear if they have any left, but a major damage was accomplished.

Watching Israeli airstrikes live…

Meanwhile the “color red” alerts continue to ring on my Iphone. 

Netanyahu and Baraak were not just “talking.”

The pundits on Ch 2 are saying that it is to make the leaders personally responsible for their actions.  The cabinet meets tonight to decide on the future of the operation being called “pillar of smoke.

– JW

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