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Despite Ceasefire, Iran-backed Hamas Continues Firing on Israel

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2008

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Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644 (office), jenniferm@theisraelproject.org
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Despite Ceasefire, Iran-backed Hamas Continues Firing on Israel
Hamas Announces Own Terms for Ceasefire 

Speech by PM Olmert Announcing Ceasefire, Jan. 17
Israeli Officials and Experts Available for Comment
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Hours after Israel implemented a ceasefire at 2 a.m. Sunday, putting an end to its three- week defensive operation in Gaza, Iran-backed Hamas launched 16 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians and shot at Israeli troops in northern Gaza.[1] [2] The latest attacks continue Hamas’s eight-year terrorist campaign of thousands of rockets aimed at killing Israeli civilians.

The unilateral ceasefire, announced Saturday by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and backed by the international community, met with fierce opposition from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. Said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, “These constitute acts of war and so this will not mean an end to resistance."[3]
 

But on Sunday afternoon, Hamas officials declared their own ceasefire, saying they would hold to it only under the condition that Israel removes its troops from Gaza within a week and opens all Gaza border crossings.[4] 

Olmert announced the ceasefire in a televised speech Saturday night and warned that Israel would take action to defend itself if the rocket attacks continued.[5] The prime minister directed part of his speech at Gazans:  “I also wish to say something to the people of Gaza: even before the military operation began, and during it, I appealed to you. We do not hate you; we did not want and do not want to harm you. We wanted to defend our children, their parents, their families. We feel the pain of every Palestinian child and family member who fell victim to the cruel reality created by Hamas which transformed you into victims.

Your suffering is terrible. Your cries of pain touch each of our hearts. On behalf of the Government of Israel, I wish to convey my regret for the harming of uninvolved civilians, for the pain we caused them, for the suffering they and their families suffered as a result of the intolerable situation created by Hamas.”

Throughout the defensive operation, Israel took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties[6] and arranged for daily deliveries of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid - more than 33,500 tons total – to reach Gaza.[7]

 

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Update: Gaza by the Numbers


 

Israel’s Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
 

1,365

truckloads of humanitarian aid that have been delivered through Israeli crossings into Gaza since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, including basic food commodities, medication, medical supplies, blood units and donations by various governments and blood units. [3]

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440,000gallons (1.7 liters) of fuel conveyed through Israel's Nahal Oz fuel terminal and Kerem Shalom goods crossing. [4]

38

Palestinians evacuated to Israel for medical treatment (including two children). [5]

980,000

leaflets disseminated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to Gaza civilians instructing them to stay away from terrorists and weapons storage sites [6]

30,000+

telephone calls made to Gaza residents warning them of impending air-strikes. [7]

33,580

tons of aid transported into Gaza at the request of international organizations, the Palestinian Authority and various governments since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead. The World Food Program informed Israel more than two weeks ago that it would cease shipment of food to Gaza because warehouses were at full capacity. [8] [9]

Iran-backed Hamas Rocket, Mortar Attacks and Nuclear Developments

 

10,000+

rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001. [10]

3,200+

rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in 2008 alone. [11]

6,500+

rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. [12]

538+

rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israeli territory during the ceasefire from June 19 to Dec. 19, 2008. [13]

796+

rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel since Dec. 27, when Operation Cast Lead began, and until Jan. 17 when Israel announced a ceasefire. [14]

28

deaths caused by rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel since 2001. The dead include Israelis, Palestinians and foreign workers. Since the ceasefire ended, Iran-backed Palestinian groups in Gaza fired rockets and mortars that killed an Israeli-Arab construction worker and a mother of four who was seeking shelter in a bus station as a rocket warning siren sounded. [15]

294   Israelis injured by rocket and mortar fire since Dec. 27. [15]

1,000+

people in Israel injured from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001, including Israelis, Palestinians and foreign workers. Since the start of Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza Dec. 27, 90 Israelis have been injured and at least 244 have been treated for shock. [16]

1,300 Palestinians killed during the IDF operation, includes Hamas terrorists and Palestinians killed by Palestinians. [16]
5,400Palestinians wounded during the IDF operation.[16]
70Fatah members murdered by Hamas forces since Dec. 27. [16]

20,000 

Hamas terrorists Israel targeted as part of its defensive operation. [17]

1,000,000

Israeli civilians Hamas is targeting and can reach. [18]

15

seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once a warning siren has sounded. [19]

8

years Israel has endured rockets and mortar fire from Gaza. [20]

9+

mosques in Gaza used as weapons, ammunitions and explosives depots that were struck by the Israel Defense Forces during the operation in Gaza. [21]

4

UN Security Council resolutions passed since 2006 to try to stop Iran from enriching uranium. [22]

5,000+

number of centrifuges operating in Iran to enrich uranium, the material used to produce a nuclear weapon. [23]

 

 

What Israel Gave Up in Hopes of Peace - Gaza Withdrawal Aug. 2005
 

100%

proportion of the Gaza Strip evacuated and handed over to the
Palestinians. [24]

300

square miles of the West Bank evacuated. [25]

21

Israeli settlements uprooted in the Gaza Strip. [26]

4

Israeli settlements uprooted in the West Bank. [27]

48

graves uprooted in Gaza’s former Gush Katif Cemetery, including six graves of area residents murdered by terrorists. [28]

9,000

approximate number of Israelis, including 1,700 families, who lived in Gaza and the northern West Bank. All of them were moved out as part of the withdrawal. [29]

38

synagogues dismantled in the Gaza Strip. [30]

5,000

school-age children who had to find new schools. [31]

42

daycare centers that were closed in the Gaza Strip. [32]

36

kindergartens that were closed in the Gaza Strip. [33]

7

elementary schools that were closed in the Gaza Strip. [34]

3

high schools that were closed in the Gaza Strip. [35]

320

mobile homes, ordered by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to serve as temporary housing for settlers. [36]

45,000

Israeli soldiers and policemen who participated in the Gaza withdrawal. [37]

$1.7 billion

the approximate cost to the Israeli government for the withdrawal initiative. [38]

166

Israeli farmers who were moved out of Gaza. [39]

800

cows, which comprised the second largest dairy farm in Israel, moved out of Gaza’s Gush Katif community. [40]

$120 million

value of flowers and produce exported annually from Gush Katif and lost following the evacuation. [41]

1

zoo, the “Katifari,” that housed hundreds of animals and was moved. [42]

10,000

people who were employed in agriculture and related industries in Gush Katif, including 5,000 Palestinians. [43]

60%

proportion of Israel's cherry tomato exports that came from the Gaza Strip. Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza extinguished this economic resource. [44]

3.5 million

square meters (almost 1,000 acres) of greenhouses abandoned in Gaza. [45]

70

percentage of Israel's organic produce grown in Gaza – another economic resource lost in the evacuation. [46]

60

percentage of herbs exported from Israel that came from Gush Katif. [47]

15

percentage of Israel agricultural exports that originated in Gaza – exports lost following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. [48]

$360,000

expected average compensation amount Israel expected to pay to relocate each family. [49]

$870 million

approximate cost for Israel to facilitate the resettlement of former West Bank and Gaza residents elsewhere in the country. [50]

$500 million

amount of money Israel's security establishment spent to relocate Israel Defense Forces bases outside the Gaza Strip and build new border crossing facilities. [51]

After Israel’s evacuation from Gaza…
 

430,000

West Bank Palestinians able to move freely within and between Palestinian-controlled areas. [52]

1

Israeli remaining in Gaza. Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit was abducted from Israel on June 25, 2006 by Hamas in a bloody cross-border raid in which the terrorists also killed two IDF soldiers and wounded four others. [53]

1.2 million

Arabs who remained full and legal citizens of Israel. All Israeli citizens – Christians, Muslims, and Jews – have freedom of speech, religion, press, and the right to vote. [54]

1.3 million

Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip many of them in Palestinian Authority-controlled refugee camps, who live under their own leaders. [55]

820,000

Jewish refugees forced to flee without their belongings from Arab countries between 1947 and 1949, and who have never been compensated by Arab governments for their losses. [58]

650,000

Arab refugees who left Israel from 1947-1949 and still need Palestinian leaders who will end terrorism and the culture of hate. [57]

 

Israel’s withdrawal from four northern West Bank settlements created an area more than twice the size of Gaza’s 140 square miles under Palestinian control and devoid of any Israeli presence. [58]

 


 

 

Footnotes for Press Release

[1] “Militants fire rockets into Israel after cease-fire,” CNN, Jan. 18, 2009,http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/18/israel.gaza/index.html

[2] Hadad, Shmulik, “2 hurt as rocket hits Ashdod house,” YnetNews, Jan. 18, 2009, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3657876,00.html  

[3] “Hamas says to fight on after Israeli ceasefire,” Reuters, Jan. 17, 2009,http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKTRE50G2U820090117

[4] Issacharoff, Avi, “Hamas announces ceasefire in Gaza, gives IDF week to leave,”Haaretz, Jan. 18, 2009, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056490.html

[5] “Israel holds its fire: Statement by PM Ehud Olmert,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, Jan. 17, 2009, http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Speeches+by+Israeli+leaders/2009/Statement_PM_Ehud_Olmert_17-Jan-2009.htm 

[6] “Operation Cast Lead – IDF: Limiting Harm to Civilians,” IDF Presentation, Jan. 14, 2009, [7] “Humanitarian aid to Gaza during IDF operation,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, Jan. 17, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2009/Humanitarian_aid_to_Gaza_following_6_month_calm.htm 

Footnotes for Gaza by the Numbers:

[3] “Israel Increases Humanitarian Effort to the Gaza Strip,” Embassy of Israel, Jan. 4, 2009, http://www.israelemb.org/Operation%20Cast%20Lead/Humanitarian%20Aid%20from%20Israel%20to%20the%20Gaza%20strip.htm

[4] “Humanitarian aid to Gaza during IDF operation,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 17, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2009/Humanitarian_aid_to_Gaza_following_6_month_calm.htm  

[5] “Humanitarian aid to Gaza during IDF operation,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 17, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2009/Humanitarian_aid_to_Gaza_following_6_month_calm.htm  

[6] “Operation Cast Lead – IDF: Limiting Harm to Civilians,” IDF Presentation, Jan. 14, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/373A5558-7B68-4A70-BF19-36CD4AABB241/0/IDFLimitingHarmtoCivilians.pps

[7] “Operation Cast Lead – IDF: Limiting Harm to Civilians,” IDF Presentation, Jan. 14, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/373A5558-7B68-4A70-BF19-36CD4AABB241/0/IDFLimitingHarmtoCivilians.pps  

[8] “Humanitarian aid to Gaza during IDF operation,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 17, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2009/Humanitarian_aid_to_Gaza_following_6_month_calm.htm  

[9] al-Atrush, Samer, “Egypt says Hamas not allowing wounded to leave Gaza,” AFP, Dec. 28, 2008, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0lxqsuTRVxb3BhvI8lp7w_K5Skg

[10] Farrell, Stephen, “A Credo of Rejection,” The New York Times,  Dec. 30, 2008   

[11] IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Dec. 19, 2008; “Iran-backed Terrorists in Gaza Kill 3, Wound Others in Continuing Rocket Attacks on Israel,” The Israel Project press release, Dec. 29, 2008, http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=3587015&content_id={4F0CF025-98BF-4875-A59B-B1F5E4B079F7}&notoc=1; Barzak, Ibrahim and Friedman, Matti, “Israel rejects truce call, pursues bombing Gaza,” Associated Press, Dec. 31, 2008, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD95DQIEO0; Ferziger, Jonathan and Ramadan, Abu Saud, “Israel Advances in Gaza as Sarkozy Leads Truce Effort,” Bloomberg.com, Jan. 5, 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ah8sqE_xotkk&refer=home

[12] Ibid.

[13] “Presentation to Military Attaches,” Israel Ministry of Defense, Dec. 2008

[14] “Israel strikes back against Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 17, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Israel_strikes_back_against_Hamas_terror_infrastructure_Gaza_27-Dec-2008.htm   

[15] “Rocket and Mortar Fatalities in Israel,” The Israel Project backgrounder, http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.3906189/k.EDAC/Rocket_and_Mortar_Fatalities_in_Israel.htm; Kershner, Isabel, “Despite Strikes, Israelis Vow to Soldier On,” The New York Times,Dec. 30, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/world/middleeast/31israel.html?em; “Iran-backed Terrorists in Gaza Kill 3, Wound Others in Continuing Rocket Attacks on Israel,” The Israel Project press release, Dec. 29, 2008,  http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=689705&ct=6476363#contactinfo; “Israel strikes back against Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 17, 2009,http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Israel_strikes_back_against_Hamas_terror_infrastructure_Gaza_27-Dec-2008.htm  

[16] Ibid; Waked, Ali, “95 more bodies uncovered in Gaza,” YnetNews, Jan. 18, 2009, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3658078,00.html; Kershner, Isabel, “War on Hamas Saps Palestinian Leaders,” The New York Times, Jan. 14, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/world/middleeast/15fatah.html?_r=1   

[17] Fletcher, Martin, “Analysis: What is Israel's end game in Gaza?” MSNBC.com, Dec. 29, 2008, http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/12/29/1726211.aspx

[18] “Summary of Rocket Fire and Mortar Shelling in 2008,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Jan. 1, 2009, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/ipc_e007.pdf 

[19] “IDF Operation in the Gaza Strip,” The Military-Strategic Information Section Daily Update – Day 4, Dec. 30, 2008

[20] “Israeli Injuries and Fatalities Due to Rocket and Mortar Fire,” The Israel Project, http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.4277777/k.3E99/Injuries_and_Fatalities_Graph.htm

[21] Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Operation Cast Lead Updates 1-14, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/site/home/default.asp 

[22] “Security Council Tightens Restrictions on Iran’s Proliferation-Sensitive Nuclear Activities, Increases Vigilance Over Iranian Banks, Has States Inspect Cargo,” United Nations Security Council, 5848th Meeting, Department of Public Relations, March 3, 2008, http://un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9268.doc.htm 

[23] Dareini, Ali Akbar, “Iran says it now runs more than 5,000 centrifuges,” AP, Nov. 26, 2008, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jG7bnyWWJfgaYD-JwcqmImlpRujwD94MND800

[24] Israeli Cabinet Resolution Regarding the Disengagement Plan, June 6, 2004, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israels+Disengagement+Plan-+Renewing+the+Peace+Process+Apr+2005.htm 

[25] “Israel’s Disengagement Plan,” American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Feb. 9, 2005, http://aipac.org/result.cfm?id=1749

[26] Israeli Cabinet Resolution Regarding the Disengagement Plan, June 6, 2004, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israels+Disengagement+Plan-+Renewing+the+Peace+Process+Apr+2005.htm

[27] Ibid.

[28] Interview with Dror Vanunu, Head of Public Relations for Gush Katif, July 7, 2005; Interview with Dror Vanunu, Head of Public Relations for Gush Katif, June 15, 2005

[29] Interview with Dror Vanunu, Head of Public Relations for Gush Katif, July 7, 2005

[30] “Engaging Disengagement,” The Jewish Agency for Israel, Department for Jewish Zionist Education, June 20, 2005, http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Home/#did

[31] Plushnick-Masti, Ramit, “Israel to use 45,000 troops in Gaza, West Bank pullout,” Detroit Free Press, July 6, 2005

[32] “Engaging Disengagement,” The Jewish Agency for Israel, Department for Jewish Zionist Education, June 20, 2005,http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Home/#did

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Plushnick-Masti, Ramit, “Israel to use 45,000 troops in Gaza, West Bank pullout,” Detroit Free Press, July 6, 2005

[36] Ibid.

[37] Klein, Zeev, “Haber: HCJ ruling will raise disengagement cost to NIS 500m,” Globes: Israel’s Business Arena, June 5, 2005

[38] Arrow, Minda Lee, “Gaza settler relocation: new progress, ongoing complications,” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, June 15, 2005, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2326

[39] LazaroffTovah, “Gush Katif dairy farmer has sleepless nights over cow remo(o)val” The Jerusalem Post, May 3, 2005

[40] Stahl, Julie, “Gaza farmers say government has no plan for them,” Cybercast News Service, April 11, 2005

[41] Ettinger, Yair, “Even the animals won’t leave Gaza early,” Haaretz newspaper, June 21, 2005, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=590195

[42] “Israel,” Freedom House, July 6, 2005

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] “Rabbi rules Gaza graves must be moved; ZAKA refuses to lend a helping hand,” Israeli Insider, May 4, 2005, http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/5469.htm

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Harel, Amos; Issacharoff, Avi; Haaretz Service and Reuters, "Two soldiers killed, one missing in raid on IDF post," Haaretz, June 25, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/730994.html

[54] Radler, David, “Refugees forever?” Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2005, http://info.jpost.com/C003/Supplements/Refugees/index.html

[55] “Rabbi rules Gaza graves must be moved; ZAKA refuses to lend a helping hand,” Israeli Insider, May 4, 2005, http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/5469.htm

[56] Interview with Dror Vanunu, Head of Public Relations for Gush Katif, June 15, 2005

[57] Radler, David, “Refugees forever?” Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2005, http://info.jpost.com/C003/Supplements/Refugees/index.html

[58] “Rabbi rules Gaza graves must be moved; ZAKA refuses to lend a helping hand,” Israeli Insider, May 4, 2005, http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/5469.htm

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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