IDF’s ‘Protective Edge’ Numbers: 475 Hamas Rockets Struck Within Gaza; Up to 1000 Terrorists Killed
In the wake of the Israeli army’s pullout from Gaza on Monday and Tuesday, the IDF has released a stat list on its four-week-long Operation Protective Edge.
The overall mission was aimed at thwarting both incessant rocket fire and mortar shelling into Israel, as well as sending out search and destroy missions against terror tunnels that led into Israeli territory.
Sixty-four soldiers and officers were killed and 463 were wounded in the 29-day operation.
Three Israeli civilians were killed during the fighting from rocket hits, and 83 residents and foreign nationals sustained various injuries while running for safety, and from complications connected with seeking shelter during salvos of rockets fired at Israel totaling 3,356.
Hamas-controlled Palestinian medical sources said 1,700 people were killed in Gaza, including about 400 children. Over 9,000 have been wounded, according to Gaza Health Ministry statistics.
However, none of the Palestinian statistics address how many of the dead are militants and who are non-combatants. Israeli and foreign sources have cast doubt on the figures’ veracity, and stress that many more of the dead are terrorists than are being reported – in a recent quote, an army source said some 900 of the casualties were Hamas members.
In its summation, the IDF said, it targeted 750- 1,000 militants of which at least 253 were Hamas operatives, 147 were Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives, 65 operatives were from various other organizations, and at least 603 operatives were not identified by affiliation.
The army said 82,201 IDF reservists were called up for the operation.
The army said that 2,303 projectiles slammed down within Israel, 116 of which hit populated areas (3.45%). 578 were intercepted by the Iron Dome Tamir interceptor missiles, and 475 landed within the Gaza Strip.
The IDF estimates that Hamas and other groups held some 10,000 rockets in their arsenal. The army destroyed one third, and another third were fired toward Israel.
The Army said 69.4% were fired from the northern Gaza Strip, 12.9% were fired from the central Gaza Strip, and 17.3% were fired from the southern Gaza Strip. 597 of the rockets were launched from civilian facilities (18%), approximately 260 were launched from educational facilities (schools), 127 from cemeteries, 160 from religious sites, and 50 were launched from hospitals, according to the IDF,
The army said it hit 4,762 terror sites across Gaza, among them: 1,678 with rocket launching capabilities, 977 command and control centers, 237 militant-wing government faculties, 191 weapon storage and manufacturing facilities, 144 training and militant compounds, and 1,535 additional terror sites.
The army said it destroyed 32 tunnels, 14 of which crossed into Israel. Two of the tunnels had shafts located 300-500 meters from Israel.
The army has interrogated 159 suspected terrorists, 25 of which are currently imprisoned.
Hamas, for its part, claimed victory, with its leader Ismail Haniyeh crowing, “We won,” according to Israel”s Ynet News.
“The military victory by the resistance, and the legendary strength of our people will lead us to a lifting of the blockage on the Gaza Strip,” Haniyeh said on Tuesday.
Israel has long maintained a maritime blockade on the coastal enclave, meant to thwart smuggling of war material.
The IDF and Civil Administration, however, continued humanitarian and medical aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including foodstuffs and general goods, despite the fighting and even Hamas’ rocket attacks on the crossing points.
Officials said that 1,856 aid trucks entered Gaza during the operation, carrying 40,550 tons of goods. Among them were 1,491 trucks with 37,178 tons of foods, 220 trucks with 1,694 tons of humanitarian supplies, and 106 trucks with 1,029 tons of medical supplies.
Israel Tax officials said that the fighting has cost the country some NIS 4.5 billion.
“Preliminary estimates talk about NIS 4.5 billion in damage in terms of lost GDP,” tax chief Moshe Asher told Channel 10 News, and indicated that the losses could amount to a billion shekels in lost taxes.
“Even before the fighting we saw a slowdown in the economy and Operation Protective Edge is now added to this,” Asher said, according to Globes.
“We have our finger on the pulse to see where the trend is leading. Direct damage is estimated at about NIS 50 million,” he said.