Gaza War: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gaza War
Part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Gaza conflict map.png
Map of Gaza; Map of Region
Date December 27, 2008 (2008-12-27)January 18, 2009 (2009-01-19)
Location Gaza Strip and Southern Israel
Status Israel declared unilateral ceasefire, 12 hours later Hamas announced a one-week ceasefire.[1][2]
On low intensity the conflict continued, but the number of rockets being fired from Gaza reduced drastically
Israel Israel (IDF)

Palestinian National Authority Gaza Strip (Palestinian paramilitary forces including the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, Quds Brigades and the Popular Resistance Councils)[3]
Israel Gabi Ashkenazi
Chief of General Staff

Israel Geva Rapp
Ground Forces
Israel Yoav Galant
Southern Command
Israel Ido Nehoshtan
Air Force
Israel Eli Marom
Israel Eyal Eisenberg
Gaza Division
Israel Yuval Diskin
Internal Security Service
Israel Yigal Slovik
401st Armored Brigade
Israel Ilan Malka
Givati Brigade
Israel Avi Peled
Golani Brigade
Israel Herzi Levy
Paratroopers Brigade
Israel David Savisa
Artillery Corps

Flag of Hamas.svg Ismail Haniyeh
Flag of Hamas.svg Said Seyam   (K.I.A.)
Flag of Hamas.svg Ahmed Jabari
Flag of Hamas.svg Tawfik Jaber   (K.I.A.)
Flag of Hamas.svg Osama Mazini
Flag of Hamas.svg Nizar Rayan   (K.I.A.)
IDF: 20,000 in ground invasion[4].

300 F-16 warplanes,
AH-64 Apache attack helicopters,
AH-1F Cobra helicopter gunships,
Armed MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles,
300 Merkava II, III, and IV battle tanks,
100 M113 Nagmash armored personnel carriers,
100 armored CAT D9 and other bulldozers,
Naval vessels including Super Dvora boats,
Artillery including Soltam M-71 towed howitzer, M109 and Sholef 155mm self-propelled howitzers, and M270 MLRS multiple rocket launcher [5]

Hamas and other paramilitary forces: Unknown

Qassam steel artillery rockets

Casualties and losses
Total killed: 13
Soldiers: 10(friendly fire: 4[6])
Civilians: 3

Total wounded: 518
Soldiers: 336[7]
Civilians: 182[7]

Total killed: 1,417 (PCHR),[8] 1,166 (IDF)[9]
Militants and police officers:
491* (PCHR),[8] 709 (IDF)[9]
Civilians: 926 (PCHR),[8] 295 (IDF)[9][9]

Total wounded: 5,303(PCHR)[8]

Total captured: 120 (IDF)

One Egyptian border guard officer killed and left three guards and two children wounded.[10][11]
Over 50,800 Gaza residents displaced.[12]

Over 4,000 homes destroyed; around $2bn worth of damage to Gaza[13]

*255 policemen were killed (PCHR).[8]

The Gaza War was a three-week military conflict that took place in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008–2009. It was dubbed Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקהMivtza Oferet Yetzuka) and defined as a military operation against Hamas by the Israeli government.[14] It has also been said that the war was against the Palestinian people.[15] Hamas leader said that the struggle with Israel is "the final battle" with "an offense against God"."[16] It was referred to as the War in the South in Israeli media coverage while the Arab world's Al Jazeera titled it a war on Gaza.[17][18] It has also been called the Gaza massacre (Arabic: مجزرة غزة‎) in the Arab world.[19]

On 19 December 2008 a fragile six-month Israel-Hamas ceasefire was set to expire. Following Israel's violation of the ceasefire on November 4,[20], there were sporadic violent clashes along the Israeli-Gaza border for the following two months, as well as a stepping up of the blockade of Gaza, which had been in place since beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.[21] On 18 December, with a surge in cross-border fighting, Hamas confirmed the end of the ceasefire, and indicated its refusal to renew it absent an Israeli commitment to abide by its conditions.[22][23] Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns resumed with Israel having fully sealed Gaza's borders since November 4.[24][24][25] On 27 December Israel began a wave of airstrikes[26] on the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of stopping the rocket attacks from and arms smuggling into the territory,[27][28] damaging or destroying tens of thousands of homes,[29] 15 of Gaza’s 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care facilities,[30] 800 water wells,[31] 186 greenhouses,[32] and nearly all of its 10,000 family farms[33]; leaving 50,000 homeless,[34] 400,000-500,000 without running water,[34][35] one million without electricity,[35], and resulting in acute food shortages.[36] Hamas' armed wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and the armed wings of other Palestinian factions, intensified rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, reaching major Israeli cities Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time, and hitting civilian targets including a schoolhouse, a kindergarten and private homes.[37][38][39][40] According to HRW, during the Gaza War, rocket attacks placed up to 800,000 people within range of attack.[41] An Israeli ground invasion began on January 3, 2009.

The war ended on January 18, when Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire, followed by Hamas' announcing a one-week ceasefire twelve hours later.[1][2] Israel completed its withdrawal on January 21.[42]

Between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed,[43] and tens of thousands of people were left homeless.[44] In 2009, the United Nations Mine Action Centre reported that a further 12 people have been killed and 27 injured in the Gaza Strip by unexploded ordnance since the ceasefire.[45]

A UN special mission, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, was established to look into the conflict in April 2009. In September, they produced a report entitled, United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. It accused both Palestinian militants and Israeli Defense Forces of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, and recommended bringing those responsible to justice.[46] In October 2009, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the report by 25 votes for, 6 against and 16 abstentions/failures to vote. Going against Goldstone's recommendations however, the Council singled out Israeli actions for reprimand, without any mention of Hamas actions.[47]



See also: Timeline of the Gaza War, List of rocket and mortar attacks in Israel in 2008 and in 2009 following the Gaza War

The Gaza Strip is a coastal strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea bordering Egypt and Israel. It is one of the most densely populated places on earth.[48][49] According to the CIA Factbook as of July 2008, it holds a population of 1,500,202 on an area of 360 square kilometers (139 sq mi). The UN, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and many other international bodies and NGOs consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza's airspace, territorial waters and does not allow the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.[50][51][52] Israel maintains that its occupation of Gaza, as defined by Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ended following the completion of its unilateral disengagement plan in 2005, asserting that Israel has no functions of government in the Gaza Strip.[53][54]

Hamas assumed administrative control of Palestinian territories (West bank and Gaza Strip) after winning the January 25, 2006 Palestinian legislative elections.[55] In June, 2006, Palestinian militants from Hamas and Popular Resistance Committees crossed from Gaza into Israel, by underground tunnel, attacked the Kerem Shalom border crossing, killing two Israeli soldiers and capturing another. Two Palestinian militants also died in the fighting.[56][57] Following 2007 military victory, Fatah affiliated President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Hamas-led government and formed government in the West Bank, bypassing the Hamas-dominated parliament.[58] After the Hamas takeover Israel announced it would allow only basic humanitarian supplies into the Strip.[59]. The Gaza administration "strongly opposed" the 2005 border agreements and presence of EU monitors at the Rafah crossing.[60], subsequently, Egypt closed the Rafah Border Crossing [61] and Israel closed off all remaining access to Gaza.[16] The blockade allowed Israel to control the flow of goods going into Gaza, including power and water. Israel halted all exports and only allowed shipments into Gaza to avert a humanitarian crisis.[62] Palestinian groups were partially able to bypass the blockade through tunnels, some of which are said to have been used for weapons smuggling.[63] In February-March 2008 IDF ground forces invaded Gaza Strip for a number of days after Palestinian militants had fired longer range rockets, brought into Gaza from outside, reaching Israel's densely populated areas. New York Times reported that Israel may consider launching a broader ground invasion of the Gaza Strip if rocket attacks continue.[64]

Between 2005 and 2007, Palestinian groups in Gaza fired about 2,700 locally-made Qassam rockets into Israel, killing four Israeli civilians and injuring 75 others. During the same period, Israel fired more than 14,600 155mm artillery shells into the Gaza Strip, killing 59 Palestinians and injuring 270. The Palestinian fatalities were, according to Human Rights Watch, "primarily if not exclusively civilians."[65]

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between 2005 and 2008 116 Israelis, including civilians and Israeli security forces, which includes Israeli police, Israeli Border Police and members of the armed services, were killed in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories in "direct conflict related incidents" and 1,509 were injured.[66] During this time, 1,735 Palestinians, including civilians and militants from various groups, were killed and 8,308 wounded in "direct conflict related incidents".[66]

2008 six-month lull

Israelis killed by Palestinians in Israel (blue) and Palestinians killed by Israelis in Gaza(red) during Jan-Dec 2008 according to B'Tselem
Rocket hits in Israel, Jan-Dec 2008.[67]

On June 19, 2008, an Egyptian-brokered six-month “lull” or pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas went into effect.[68] The term “lull” is a translation of the Arabic term Tahdia.[69] The agreement had no mutually agreed text or enforcement mechanism and eventually collapsed.[70]

The agreement required Hamas to end rocket and mortar attacks on Israel and to enforce the lull throughout Gaza. In addition, Israel insisted that the agreement would include an end to Hamas's military buildup in Gaza and movement toward the release of Corporal Shalit.[71] Hamas said all the Gaza's militant groups would abide by the truce.[72] Defense Ministry Official Amos Gilad, the Israeli envoy to the talks, stressed that Israel demanded a total ceasefire, meaning that even one single rocket fired will be seen as a violation of the agreement. He added that Egypt, on its side, is committed to preventing the smuggling activity from Gaza.[73] Gilad also said that Israel would hold Hamas responsible for any attacks from Gaza.[72]

In exchange, Israel agreed to ease the embargo and agreed to halt military raids into Gaza.[71][74] Jimmy Carter wrote in an editorial in the Washington Post that the Egyptian negotiators and Hamas had informed him that humanitarian supplies would be restored to the normal level that had existed before Israel's withdrawal in 2005 (about 700 trucks daily).[75][76]

As part of the deal Egypt has promised to stop the smuggling of arms and weapons from its territory into Gaza.[72]


The truce started slowly, with the UN recording seven IDF violations of the ceasefire between June 20 and June 26, and three violations by Palestinian groups not affiliated with Hamas between June 23 and 26.[77] Several mortars and Qassam rockets were fired at Israel in late June, with no casualties.[78][79][79][80][81] Palestinian Center for Human Rights stated that Israeli forces opened fire against children and farmers in northern Gaza Strip on the June 23 inuring one and opened fire against farmers in southeastern Gaza Strip on the June 25 inuring one.[82]

Israel and Hamas accused each other of bad faith and of violations of the Egyptian-mediated truce, pointing respectively that rockets from Gaza never stopped entirely and that weapons smuggling was not halted while major renewal of goods' flow into Gaza was never allowed and Israel conducted raids in Gaza killing Hamas fighters.[70][83][84]

Israeli compliance

On December 18, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, reported 185 Israeli violations during the lull period.[85]

Israel gradually re-opened supply lines for some items and permitted as many as 90 daily truck shipments to enter Gaza, up from around 70 per day,[86] but the increase in supply trucks never began to approach the 700 trucks that Hamas thought it was going to get. Throughout an escalation period since November 4 incident, Israel started to intermittently close the crossings through which food and fuel are supplied, in response to rocket attacks on its towns.[70][87]

Hamas compliance

Israeli and United Nations figures show that 10 to 20 rockets were fired in July, depending on who was counting and whether mortar rounds were included. In August, 10 to 30 were fired, and in September, 5 to 10.[70]

The Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) recorded a total of 223 rockets and 139 mortar shells fired from Gaza during the lull, including 20 rockets and 18 mortar shells before November 4.[88] ITIC noted that while "Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire" until November 4 (when the ceasefire was "seriously eroded"), other Palestinian factions violated the lull by rocket and mortar shell fire, in some instance in defiance of Hamas.[89] The Israeli military also found several dozen improvised explosive devices used against its vehicles on the Gaza border and about a dozen cases of sniper fire from Gaza directed at its forces.[70]

Retrospective commentaries by human-rights NGOs

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that rocket attacks "virtually stopped" during the ceasefire but escalated on November 2008 after an Israeli military incursion into Gaza on November 4.[90] Hamas denied responsibility for the rocket fire during the 'lull'.[citation needed] HRW noted that although Hamas had made efforts to halt rocket attacks as part of the ceasefire, other armed groups continued to intermittently fire rockets from Gaza.[91] The NGO stated that at least three members of the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades were accused and detained in July for firing rockets but were later released with no charges brought against them.[91] Amnesty International described the lull as the "single most important factor" that resulted in the reduction of attacks on civilians and civilian casualties to the lowest level since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000.[92]

Conflict escalates

November 4 incident

On November 4, 2008, Israeli tanks and bulldozers made their first major incursion 250m into the Gaza Strip since the June truce. A gunfight broke out, killing one Hamas fighter. At least five more Hamas fighters were killed in subsequent Israeli airstrikes on Hamas positions, according to Palestinian medics.[93] The Israeli troops entered Gaza to destroy what Israel said was a tunnel on the Gaza-Israel border dug by militants to abduct its soldiers. Israel claimed the raid was not a violation of the ceasefire, but a legitimate step to remove an immediate threat. Hamas said it would take revenge for what it perceived as an act of Israeli aggression that had violated the truce.[93][94] Hamas launched 35 rockets into southern Israel in what was described by a Hamas spokesman as a "response to Israel's massive breach of the truce".[95][96]

November 4 - mid December

Since violence flared on November 4, Israeli forces and militants, some of them from Hamas, engaged in almost daily tit-for-tat exchanges.[97] In about ten days since the November 4 incident, eleven militants were killed and about 140 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza at Israel. Intensity of rocket attacks targeted at Israeli cities near Gaza sharply increased during November 2008, approaching pre-truce levels.[98] In the period between November 4 incident and mid-December, more than 200 Qassam rockets and mortar shells landed in the western Negev region. Israel has frequently shut down the crossings in response to rocket attacks on its towns.[87]

Mid December - December 19, lull expiration

On December 13, Israel announced that it was in favor of extending the cease-fire, provided Hamas adhered to the conditions.[87] On December 14, a Hamas delegation in Cairo proposed that Hamas was prepared to stop all rocket attacks against Israel if the Israelis would open up and not be allowed to close or reduce commercial traffic through the Gaza border crossings and pledge not to launch attacks in Gaza.[99] On the same day, Hamas officials told that earlier reports, quoting Khaled Meshaal as saying there would be no renewal of the truce, were inaccurate. A Hamas spokesman said that the lull would not be renewed, "as long as there is no real Israeli commitment to all of its conditions".[100] Spokesman for the Israeli prime minister replied that Israel was committed to the truce but "it's clear there can't be a one-sided ceasefire, ... where rockets are everyday coming from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli civilians".[100]

Throughout December 12 - December 15 period, five Qassams and two mortar shells fired from northern Gaza landed in Israel's western Negev. [101][102][103][104]

On December 16, eight Qassam rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.[105][106] On December 17, twenty three Qassam rockets landed in the western Negev.[107]

On December 18, a day before the truce officially expired, Hamas declared the end of the cease-fire.[108] More than 20 rockets were launched from Gaza into southern Israel on that day.[109]

On December 19, Hamas refused to enter talks to renew the six-month truce and Hamas spokesman announced that it would not extend the cease-fire.[110][111] Palestinian sources claimed that Hamas wanted to renew the truce, but only on improved terms - a complete opening of the border crossings with Israel, the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a complete ban on Israeli military activity in Gaza and an extension of the truce to the West Bank as well. Israel was not ready to accept these terms.[111] The claims were confirmed by Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's internal security agency, at an Israeli cabinet meeting on December 21. Diskin said he thought Hamas was "interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its wants us to lift the siege of Gaza, stop attacks, and extend the truce to include the West Bank".[83] Three Qassam rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip landed in Israel.[112]

December 20 - December 27

Throughout December 20, at least 15 Qassams and 26 mortars were fired toward the western Negev region.[113] The Israeli air force attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip, including a weapons storehouse in the Jabalya refugee camp, a rocket factory in Khan Yunis and a Hamas border police post, wounding two Hamas members.[114]

On December 23, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said that Hamas was willing to renew the cease-fire under the original terms, demanding an Israeli commitment to refrain from any military operation in the Strip and to keep the border crossings open. Speaking with Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, al-Zahar said that the movement would reassess the situation in Gaza once the 24 hours during which Hamas vowed to halt rocket fire come to an end.[115] Despite the temporary ceasefire declared by the armed Palestinian factions, eight Qassam rockets and 8 mortar shells hit Israeli Negev on that day.[116][117] On December 23 night Israeli soldiers killed three Hamas gunmen. The army said the men were preparing to plant explosives along the border.[118]

On December 24, Israel hit a group of militants in Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokesman said that an air strike hit a group who had fired mortars at Israel. Palestinian medical workers said one Hamas militant was killed in the strike and two other Palestinians were wounded, including a cameraman from Hamas's television station.[118] On that day, Hamas military wing issued a statement saying that it commenced an operation code-named "Oil Stain". 87 Palestinian mortar shells, Katyusha and Qassam rockets hit the Negev.[119][120]

On December 25, after Israel had "wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert delivered a final warning in an interview with the Arabic language satellite channel al-Arabiya. He said "I am telling them now, it may be the last minute, I'm telling them stop it. We are stronger."[121] 6 Qassams landed in southern Israel.[122]

On December 26, Israel reopened five border crossings between Israel and Gaza, after an eight-day closure, to supply fuel for Gaza's main power plant and to provide about 100 truck loads of humanitarian aid, including grain and other goods.[24][123] On that day, militants fired approximately a dozen rockets and mortar shells from Gaza at Israel; one accidentally struck a northern Gaza house, killing two Palestinian sisters and wounding a third.[124][125] According to Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (IMFA), the commercial crossings into Gaza Strip were mostly closed since November 6, due to the barrage of approximately 230 rockets and mortar that were launched at Israel. IMFA stated that the Erez crossing has continued to be open to international and medical traffic.[126]


Israeli offensive

Israel began planning for a military operation as early as six months before the conflict by collecting intelligence on potential targets. The IDF also engaged in a disinformation campaign to give Hamas a false sense of security and to take them by surprise. Defense minister Ehud Barak stated that the offensive was the result of Israel’s “patience running out” over the rocket attacks.[127][128] According to Israeli officials, its subsequent December 27 offensive took Hamas by surprise, thereby increasing militant casualties.[129]

Analysts and some politicians, Israeli-Arab Knesset Members Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh, argued that the real motivation behind the Gaza War was ambitious Israeli politicians and Israeli elections, which were due in February 2009. A comparison has been made to Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" campaign into Lebanon in 1996, which also occurred during election time.[130] The UNHRC report compiled under Richard Goldstone rejected Israel's claim that the Gaza War had been waged as a response to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.[28]

Air strikes

Israeli F-16i of the 107th Squadron preparing for take-off

At 11:30am on December 27, 2008, Israel launched the campaign titled Operation Cast Lead. It began with an opening wave of airstrikes in which F-16 fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters[131] simultaneously struck 100 preplanned targets within a span of 220 seconds. The Israel Air Force claimed a 95% success rate with zero misses in the opening attack.[132] Thirty minutes later, a second wave of 60 jets and helicopters struck at an additional 60 targets. The air strikes hit Hamas headquarters, government offices and 24 police stations.[133] Approximately 140 members of Hamas were killed, including Tawfik Jaber, head of Hamas' police force.[134][135] Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni told reporters that Israel would strike all targets associated with what she called the "illegitimate, terrorist government of Hamas".[132]

At least 230 Palestinians were killed and more than 700 injured on the first day of air strikes. Civilians, including children, were among the casualties.[135] Human rights groups critically note that the attacks began around the time children were leaving school.[136] The Israeli attack was the deadliest one-day death toll in 60 years of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, which has led some Palestinians to call it the Massacre of Black Saturday.[137][138][139]

In the weeks following the initial air raids F-16is and AH-64 Apaches continued to target Hamas facilities while also inflicting massive damage to Palestinian infrastructure.[140] Israel used the 2000-pound Mark 84 Joint Direct Attack Munition to attack buildings and tunnels along the Gaza-Sinai border. The 500-pound variant was used against underground bunkers.[132] Israel also used the new PB500A1 laser-guided hard-target penetration bomb which is based on the less sophisticated Mark 83. Unconfirmed reports claim the IAF also used the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb for the first time.[141] Israeli aircraft also utilized synthetic aperture radar targeting pods and high-resolution imaging pods.[132] After being grounded 6 months prior, the Israeli fleet of AH-1F Cobra helicopter helicopter gunships were rushed back into service for the operation.[142]

According to the IAF, 80 percent of the bombs used by the IAF were precision weapons, and 99 percent of the air strikes hit their targets.[143] A study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out that whenever possible, IAF executed strikes using the smallest precision-guided weapons, and coordinated both air strikes and the use of artillery weapons using GPS, in a systematic effort to limit collateral damage.[16] In a 2009 interview, Major General Ido Nehushtan said that the only use of non-precision-guided munitions from the Israeli Air Force was in open areas.[144] He went on to say: "We had to find ways to do things as precisely and proportionately as possible, while focusing on how to differentiate between terrorists and uninvolved civilians.[144]

The IDF also targeted homes of Hamas commanders, noting: "Destruction of hundreds of Hamas leaders' homes [is] one of the keys to the offensive's success. The homes serve as weapons warehouses and headquarters, and shelling them has seriously hindered Hamas capabilities."[145] Several high-ranking Hamas commanders were killed, including Nizar Rayan, Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, and Jamal Mamduch. The Hamas leaders often died along with their families in their homes. According to a Hamas spokesperson and Rayyan's son, the IDF warned Rayan, by contacting his cell phone, that an attack on his house was imminent.[146][147][148][149]

Destroyed building in Rafah, January 12, 2009[citation needed]

Among IDF's measures to reduce civilian casualties were the extensive use of leaflets and phone messages to warn Palestinians, including families in high-risk areas and families of Hamas personnel, to leave the area or to avoid potential targets.[16][150][151][152] Israel used F-4 Phantoms to deliver more than 2 million leaflets urging the population to evacuate.[144] In a practice codenamed roof knocking, the IDF issued warning calls prior to air strikes on civilian buildings. Typically, Israeli intelligence officers and Shin Bet security servicemen contacted residents of a building in which they suspected storage of military assets and told them that they had 10–15 minutes to flee the attack.[153][154][132] At several instances, the IDF has also used a sound bomb to warn civilians before striking homes.[150] In some cases, IDF commanders called off airstrikes, when residents of suspected houses have been able to gather on its roof.[150] IAF developed small bomb that is designed not to explode as it was aimed at empty areas of the roofs to frighten residents into leaving the building.[16][151] Israel's military used low-explosive missiles to warn civilians of imminent attack and to verify that buildings were evacuated prior to attack.[144] Some of the attacks took place sooner than the warning suggested and many calls were not followed up with attacks.[155] The Israeli Government report notes that while the warning systems implemented by the IDF did not eliminate all harm to civilians, they were apparently effective, due to the fact that in many incidents aerial video surveillance by IDF forces confirmed the departure of numerous residents from targeted areas as a direct result of the warnings prior to the attacks. While Israel is not a party to the Protocol I, Israel however accepts its provisions as reflective of customary international law.[156]

Through January 3, 2009, Israel Air Force had flown 555 fighter sorties and 125 helicopter missions. Hundreds of UAV flight hours were logged. They claimed to have destroyed more than 500 targets including one-third of the underground passages built by Hamas and other militant groups to smuggle and store rockets, weaponry, and other supplies.[132] Throughout the initial stages of the air operation, the IDF transmitted messages to civilians in Gaza to stay away from Kassam launch sites and Hamas buildings and infrastructure.[134]

By January 3, 2009, the Palestinian death toll stood at 400, with 25 percent estimated to be civilian casualties.[157] The air offensive continued throughout the ground invasion that followed, and as of January 15, Israeli forces had carried out 2,360 air strikes.[158] No safe haven or bomb shelters existed, making this one of the rare conflicts where civilians had no place to flee.[159]

Naval Operations

The Israeli navy attacked Hamas rocket launchers and outposts, command and control centers, a Hamas patrol boat, and the office of Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' Prime Minister in Gaza, using the Typhoon Weapon System and Surface to surface missiles.[160][161] The Navy coordinated with other Israeli forces and used powerful shipboard sensors to acquire and shell targets on land.[132][162] Records of the attacks published by the navy indicate that for the first time vessels were equipped with Spike ER electro-optically guided antiarmor missiles. Videos of an attack showed precision hits from a Typhoon stabilizing gun despite a rolling sea. Versions of the Spike were also used by ground units[141] and possibly by helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles.[163]

On 29 December the Free Gaza Movement relief boat Dignity carrying volunteer doctors with 3.5 tons of medical supplies, human rights activists (Among them Caoimhe Butterly), a CNN reporter and former US Representative Cynthia McKinney was involved in an altercation with Israeli patrol boats. The captain of the Free Gaza vessel said that their vessel had been struck intentionally by the Israeli navy and that there had been no warning before it had been rammed.[164] An Israeli spokesman disputed this, and said the collision was caused by the Dignity attempting to out maneuver the patrol boats after disobeying Israeli orders to turn back.[165]

On 4 January, the Israeli Navy extended its blockade of the Gaza Strip to 20 Nautical Miles, and denied all vessels entry.[166]

Ground invasion

IDF infantry and armor units amassed near the Gaza border on December 28, engaging in an active blockade of the strip.[167] On December 27, Hamas fired rockets into Southern Israel, killing one civilian. On December 29, Hamas rocket fire killed two Israeli civilians. A Hamas mortar attack on Nahal Oz army base on December 29 killed one Israeli soldier.[168]

Explosion in Gaza, January 12, 2009[169]
Damage to the Zeitoun neighborhood[citation needed]

On the eve of the ground incursion by Israeli forces, Khaled Mashal assured that should IDF launch ground offensive, black destiny and abduction awaits Israeli soldiers.[170][171] Hamas spokesman added that with the God's help Gaza will become a graveyard to Israeli troops.[172]

On the evening of January 3, Israel launched a ground operation by sending troops into Gaza for the first time since the start of the conflict.[173][174] According to the IDF, the intention of the ground invasion, termed the 'second stage' of Operation Cast Lead, was to secure areas within the Gaza strip from which militants continued to launch rockets even after the Israeli air strikes.

Israel utilized the Paratroopers, Golani, and Givati brigades simultaneously entering the Gaza Strip from several unexpected directions to avoid reported booby traps while also outflanking opposing forces. The 401st armored brigade used the Merkava Mk4 tank to quickly control and block access from Rafah and Khan Yunis to Gaza City which cut supply lines to Hamas from the south.[141]

Each brigade combat team was assigned a UAV squadron for close support. This was the first Israeli operation in which UAVs, helicopters, and fighter jets were allocated to ground forces directly without IAF central command authorizing sorties. Air-support controller teams operated alongside brigade commanders at the front emphasizing the brigade commander's utilization of direct air assets.[144] A high degree of situational awareness was achieved by maintaining at least a dozen UAVs in flight over Gaza at all times. Aerial surveillance was provided by Heron and Hermes 450 UAVs and Apache attack helicopters. Along with coordination between the Air Force and ground troops, Israel ground forces were able to utilize cooperation with the Israel Security Agency by having operatives attached to the forward units. This interservice coordination allowed for a higher level of tactical awareness and the ability to strike time-critical targets.[141]

Israeli ground troops entered Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza in the early hours of January 4.[175] Israeli forces reportedly bisected Gaza and surrounded Gaza City, but restricted their movements to areas that were not heavily urbanised.[176] One Israeli soldier was killed and 19 other soldiers were wounded in Jabalia when a mortar shell fired by Hamas fighters landed on their patrol. The Israeli military said that 50 Hamas fighters were killed and dozens more wounded. The IDF also stated that it had targeted forty sites, including weapons depots and rocket launch sites.[177]

Three Hamas commanders were killed on January 4 in Israeli strikes.[citation needed]

As Israeli tanks and troops seized control of large parts of the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Gazans fled their homes amidst artillery and gunfire, and flooded into the inner parts of Gaza city.[178] Gun battles broke out between the IDF and Hamas on the streets of Gaza as the IDF surrounded the city.[179][180] On January 5, 3 Israeli soldiers were killed and another 20 soldiers wounded after an Israeli tank fired at their position, which had been identified as an enemy position. Israeli mortars shelled the Al Fakhura school after Hamas fighters took shelter in it, killing 9 Hamas fighters and 3 civilians.[181] A total of 125 Palestinians were killed on January 6. One Israeli Officer was killed by a misdirected Israeli artillery shell. Hamas fighters also ambushed an Israeli patrol in Gaza city, resulting in a firefight. One Israeli soldier was killed and four other soldiers were wounded. All of the Hamas fighters were killed.[citation needed]

Israeli artillery units also worked closely with battalion commanders.[162] For the first time, the Sheder Ham digitized data, mapping, and command-and-control system linked the Artillery Corps into the Army's overall C4I network. Hardware included the Soltam M-71 towed howitzer, the M109 self-propelled howitzer, the Sholef 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, and the M270 multiple rocket launcher.[142] Israel artillery fired approximately 7,000 rounds during the conflict. An Israel Defense Forces colonel stated that tactics and procedures had to suit the difficult urban environment. The number of rounds in the 22-day conflict was 5 percent of the total fired during the 34-day Lebanon war. Under the condition of anonymity, another officer said that close air support missions accounted for more than 90 percent of rounds fired. He also said that about half of those were MA25A1 incendiary based smoke rounds used to mask troop movements. Retired U.S. Army colonel Douglas Macgregor gave his opinion as: "They went in heavy, with lots of firepower. But at the same time, because of good intel and other improvements, they were able to be selective and cut down on collateral damage."[182]

On 5 January, the Israeli military claimed that 80-100 Hamas fighters were killed and 100 captured during heavy ground fighting. Some 40 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel, injuring four civilians.[183]

Arms interdiction and the Sudan strike

In an effort to prevent Hamas from replenishing its depleted stocks, the Israeli Air Force attacked and destroyed Gaza-bound arms smuggling convoys in Sudan. The precise number of strikes, the weapons employed, the number of casualties and the identity of those killed remains a subject of dispute.

ABC news reported that the Israelis struck at least three times. Two of the strikes took place in the Sudan while a third occurred in the Red Sea. The New York Times reported that the air strikes were part of Israel’s efforts to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza during Israel’s offensive.[184]

Time Magazine reported that the January attack was carried out by F-16s with F-15s flying cover against hostile aircraft. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were also employed to perform battle damage assessment. According to the Time report, the 23-truck convoy was hauling a shipment of 120 tons of weapons and explosives including Iranian Fajr 3 rockets and anti-tank rockets. The report added that the convoy was entirely destroyed and that among those killed in the strike were Iranian operatives.[185]

Attack on Gaza City

On January 8, an exchange of fire took place in Gaza city. Many Hamas fighters were killed in the clash as well as an Israeli officer of the Golani Brigade. In Northern Gaza, Hamas snipers opened fire on Israeli forces conducting an operation, killing an Israeli soldier. Another Israeli soldier was lightly wounded. In Central Gaza, a force of IDF soldiers entered a building near the Kissfum crossing. As the force entered, Hamas fighters fired an anti-tank rocket at them, killing one Israeli officer and wounding one soldier. Israeli aircraft also hit more than 40 Hamas targets in Gaza.[186] Israeli troops shot and killed Hamas commander Amir Mansi as he operated a mortar. Two other militants were wounded.[187] On January 10, the Israeli military claimed to have targeted another 40 sites and to have killed 15 Hamas fighters.[188] On January 11, the IDF started the third stage of the operation with an attack on the suburbs of Gaza City. Israeli forces pushed into the south of the city and reached a key junction to its north. During their advance, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters ambushed Israeli troops at several locations, and heavy fighting ensued, in which 40 Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters were killed.[134] Additionally, the IAF reported that Hamas operatives had tried to shoot down an IAF fixed wing aircraft with anti-aircraft missiles for the first time since operations in Gaza began. Heavy machine gun fire against helicopters had also been unsuccessful.[189] Two Hamas fighters were killed by an Israeli airstrike in the Southern Gaza Strip. A Palestinian woman was also killed by Israeli artillery fire.[190]

Palestinians in a Gaza city neighbourhood on Day 18 of the War in Gaza[191]

On January 12, the IDF reported that it had started deploying reserve forces in Gaza. [192]

On January 12, four Israeli paratroopers were wounded in northern Gaza. A unit of Israeli paratroopers also discovered a Hamas tunnel, and shot and killed a female would-be suicide bomber. Israeli ground troops and aircraft targeted over 25 Hamas sites, including tunnels and weapons caches, killing 4 Hamas fighters and 5 civilians.[193]

On January 13, Israeli tanks continued their advance toward the headquarters of Hamas' preventative security building from the al-Karramah neighborhood in the northwest and the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in the northeast.[194] Before dawn, during the night, Israeli troops and tanks supported by artillery and helicopters advanced 300 metres into Tel al-Hawa, a neighborhood which has several high-rise buildings, while Israeli gunboats shelled Hamas targets along the coast.[195] As troops entered the narrow streets, heavy street fighting with militants ensued leaving three Israeli soldiers wounded and 30 Hamas militants dead or wounded, according to the IDF. By morning IDF soldiers were still advancing slowly towards the city center and several buildings were in flames in Tel al-Hawa, where most of the fighting took place.[196]

On January 15, Israeli artillery started a bombardment of the city while fighting was still going on in the streets. Three high-rise buildings were shelled.[citation needed] The Israeli military reported to have killed dozens of militants, since breaching the city limits four days earlier, while they suffered 20-25 soldiers wounded. Among buildings shelled were the al-Quds hospital, Gaza's second-largest, in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood.

It was reported that almost all members of Hamas’s approximately 100-man strong "Iranian Unit" were killed during a battle in the Zeytoun neighborhood on January 15. Members of the military wing had previously traveled to Iran for training by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. According Palestinian sources, Iran was preparing for an end to the fighting and promised money and resources to rebuild military capabilities and infrastructure destroyed during the fighting.[197]

The headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was also shelled on January 15. There were 3 people injured and tonnes of food and fuel intended for 750,000 Palestinian refugees was destroyed.[198] The Associated Press initially reported that an anonymous Israeli military official stated that Gaza militants had fired anti-tank weapons and machine guns from inside the compound. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “it is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it, I don't think it should have happened and I'm very sorry.” After the UNRWA dismissed the Israeli claim as "nonsense" Israel ordered an army investigation into the incident.[199] Israeli officials afterwards “came forward to say that preliminary results showed that the militants ran for safety inside the U.N. compound after firing on Israeli forces from outside."[200]

The Givati Brigade penetrated the deepest into Gaza City. The brigade's reconnaissance battalion swept into the Tel el-Hawa neighborhood and took over two 15-story buildings in search of Hamas operatives two days before the cease fire went into effect. An estimated 40 Palestinian gunmen were killed. The commander of the brigade, Ilan Malka, was critical of Hamas's use of civilian houses and said that he "took many steps to prevent our soldiers from getting hurt." Colonel Ilan Malka told reporters that the IDF had initially predicted each battalion would lose six or seven soldiers.[201]

The Israeli government considered a third phase of the operation with the intent of dealing a "knock out blow" to Hamas. Military and intelligence assessments indicating that shifting the goal to destroying Hamas would require additional weeks of deep ground incursions into urban areas and refugee camps. It was expected that this would result in heavy casualties on both sides, inevitably reduce the strong domestic support for the war, and increase international criticism.[5]

Improvised Explosive Device counter measures

Improvised explosive devices (IED) were a concern for Israeli soldiers.[202] One Israeli commander said that booby traps were found in a mosque and 1/3 of the houses.[203]

The IDF used D9 armored bulldozers to ensure that paths were cleared of IEDs. These bulldozers were also used to destroy tunnels. The unmanned, remote-controlled version of the D9 (called Black Thunder) were also used. Viper miniature robots were deployed by Israeli forces for the first time. These were used for various tasks including the disabling of IEDs. Along with blocking mobile phone communication, the IDF employed electronic jamming equipment to disable remote operated explosives.[142]

White phosphorus

Israel used white phosphorus munitions during the conflict[204]

On Jan 5th the Times reported that telltale smoke had been seen in areas of shelling but Israel "strenuously denied"[205] using phosphorus. On Jan 8 photos of a stockpile of these shells appeared and the IDF spokesman said: "This is what we call a quiet shell - it has no explosives and no white phosphorus". On Jan 12 it was reported that more than 50 phosphorus burns victims were in Nasser Hospital. An Israeli military spokesman "categorically"[205] denied the use of white phosphorus shells. On Jan 16th the UNRWA headquarters was hit with phosphorus munitions.[206] As a result of the hit, the compound was set ablaze.[207] The Israeli military continued to deny its use.[206]

On completion of the three-day Israeli withdrawal (Jan 21) an Israeli military spokeswoman admitted that white phosphorus munitions had been used..[206]

Many other observers, including HRW military expert, reported seeing white phosphorus air bursts over Gaza City and the Jabalya refugee camp.[208] The BBC published a photograph of two shells exploding over a densely populated area on 11 January.[209]

The IDF stated on January 13 that it "wishes to reiterate that it uses weapons in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used in accordance with the type of combat and its characteristics."[210]

The Goldstone report accepted that white phosphorous is not illegal under international law but did find that the Israeli’s were “systematically reckless in determining its use in build-up areas”. It also call for serious consideration to be given to the banning of its use as an obscurant.[211]

Use of Dense Inert Metal Explosives

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) is a type of bomb developed to minimize collateral damage.[212] DIME is a relatively new weapons technology being developed mainly in the United States. Several studies, including the one of Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, indicate that the tungsten residuals of the DIME weapon in the muscles of the laboratory animals result in severe malignant carcinogenesis. It is yet to be seen if this will have the same effect in humans.[213] Because of possible high inclination to develop cancerous tumors in humans, some argue that the use of tungsten in weapons may be as dangerous as using depleted uranium.[214]

Norwegian doctors who were one of the few Europeans in Gaza City during the conflict and a military expert working for Human Rights Watch said judging by the nature of the wounds and descriptions given by Gazans made it seem likely that Israel used DIME weapons.[212]

Colonel Lane, military expert testifying in front of the fact-finding mission in July 2009, told the committee that there is no actual proof that DIME rounds were used, but he is of view that some weapons systems used in the conflict had some sort of DIME component, citing evidence of tungsten, iron, and sulfur in samples analyzed in a forensic lab. Colonel Lane explained that the idea behind a Focused Lethality Munition (FLM), which is an example of a DIME munition, is that the fragments produced stay within a safety radius of about 6 meters, so anybody outside that radius is reasonably safe, while those within the area of dispersal will experience catastrophic injuries, possibly leading to multiple amputations. He commented on the documentations where medics described unusual amputations saying that the use of a metal like tungsten and cobalt at short distances would likely had that effect.[215]

The Goldstone Report wrote that the Mission was not in a position to state with certainty that DIME munitions were used by the Israeli armed forces, though it received reports from Palestinian and foreign doctors who had operated in Gaza during the military operations of a high percentage of patients with injuries compatible with their impact. The report added that as it currently stands, DIME weapons and weapons armed with heavy metal are not prohibited under international law, but do raise specific health concerns.[211]

Allegations of misconduct by IDF soldiers

Testimonies from Israeli soldiers allegedly admitting indiscriminate killings of civilians, as well as vandalizing homes, were reported in March 2009.[216][217][218] Soon after the publication of the testimonies, reports implying that the testimonies were based on hearsay and not on the first-hand experience started to circulate.[218] At the same time, another kind of evidence was collected from several soldiers who took part in the fighting, that rebutted claims of immoral conduct on the military's part during Gaza War.[219] Following investigation, the IDF issued an official report, concluding that alleged cases of deliberate shooting at civilians didn't take place.[220] Nine Israeli rights groups reacting to the closure of the investigation issued a joint statement calling for an "independent nonpartisan investigative body to be established in order to look into all Israeli army activity" in Gaza.[220]

In July 2009, an Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence published testimony from 26 soldiers (two junior officers and the rest is enlisted personnel) who took part in the Gaza assault and which claimed that the IDF used Gazans as human shields, improperly fired incendiary white phosphorous shells over civilian areas and used overwhelming firepower that caused needless deaths and destruction.[221][222] The report did not represent a cross-section of the army, but rather they were troops who had approached the group or were reached through acquaintances of NGO members.[221] Breaking the Silence state that their methodology includes the verification of all information by cross-referencing the testimonies it collects and that published material has been confirmed by a number of testimonies, from several different points of view. A representative stated "the personal details of the soldiers quoted in the collection, and the exact location of the incidents described in the testimonies, would readily be made available to any official and independent investigation of the events, as long as the identity of the testifiers did not become public".[223] A soldier who described using Gazans as human shields told in an interview to Haaretz that that he had not seen Palestinians being used as human shields but had been told by his commanders that this occurred.[224] An Israeli military spokesperson dismissed the testimonies as anonymous hearsay.[225] In response to the report, a dozen English-speaking reservists who served in Gaza delivered signed, on-camera counter-testimonies via the SoldiersSpeakOut group, about Hamas "use of Gazans as human shields and the measures the IDF took to protect Arab civilians".[226][227]

Senior officers' reprimand

In the report submitted to UN in January 2010, IDF acknowledged that two senior officers were subject to disciplinary proceedings for authorising an artillery attack which hit a UN compound in Tel El Hawa.[228][229] The officers involved were identified as Gaza Division Commander Brig Gen Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Col Ilan Malka.[207] IDF internal investigation concluded that the firing of the shells violated the IDF orders limiting the use of artillery fire near populated areas and endangered human life.[229] IDF sources added later that the shells had been fired to create cover to assist in the extrication of IDF troops, some of whom were wounded, from a position where Hamas had superior position.[228] Israeli Government spokesman stated that in this particular case they had found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and so had not referred the case to criminal investigation.[207]

Humanitarian ceasefires

Due to the number of civilian casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation, Israel faced significant international pressure for a ceasefire, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, access to the population of Gaza and the lifting of the blockade.[230] On January 7, Israel opened a humanitarian corridor to allow the shipment of aid into Gaza. The Israeli army agreed to interrupt fighting for three hours and Hamas agreed not to launch rockets during the pause.[231][232][233] Israel repeated the ceasefire either daily or every other day. Aid officials and the UN praised the truce, but said it was not enough as fighting usually resumed immediately following the humanitarian ceasefires.[231][234][235][236] An Israeli Government report, published in July 2009, notes that during the period between 8 January and 17 January, Hamas fired a total of 44 rockets and mortars at Israel during humanitarian pauses.[237] An independent report commissioned jointly by the Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society notes that according to testimonies by local witnesses, there were several cases where IDF ground forces breached the daily ceasefire agreement.[238]

Palestinian paramilitary activity

A rocket fired from Gaza into Israel in December 2008[citation needed]

According to Abu Ahmed, the official media spokesman of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Palestinian paramilitary factions in Gaza worked together, operationally and otherwise, to repel the Israeli attack on Gaza. Abu Ahmed told Asharq al-Awsat during the war that, "everybody helps everybody else with regards to food, weapons, and first aid; there is no difference between a member 'Al Quds Brigade' or 'Al Qassam Brigade [military wing of Hamas]' or 'Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade' or 'Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade [military wing of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or PFLP]'. For everybody's goal is the same and their compass is pointing in the same direction, and that is to drive out the occupation and defeat them, and disrupt their plan to dissolve the Palestinian Cause."[239]

Political representatives for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, Saiqa, the Popular Struggle Front, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Fatah al-Intifada, and a number of other Palestinian factions in Syria formed a temporary alliance during the offensive as well. They issued a joint statement refusing, "any security arrangements that affect the resistance and its legitimate right to struggle against the occupation," and refusing proposals suggesting international forces be sent to Gaza. The coalition also affirmed that any peace initiatives must include an end to the blockade, and an opening of all of Gaza's crossings, including the Rafah crossing with Egypt.[3]


During the fighting in Gaza in January 2009, Nizar Rayyan, the Hamas military commander, said that; "The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don't need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel. Israel is impossibility. It is an offense against God."[16] Hamas used the months leading to the war to prepare for urban warfare which was to give them a chance to inflict casualties on the Israeli military.[240] Militants booby-trapped houses and buildings and built an extensive system of tunnels in preparation for combat.[241] A Hamas fighter reported that the group had prepared a tunnel network in Gaza city that would allow Hamas to engage the IDF in urban warfare.[242] IDF commanders said that many Hamas members have dug tunnels for themselves under their homes and hid weapon caches in them.[243] Some houses were booby-trapped with manneqins, explosives and adjacent tunnels: Israeli officers said that houses were set up this way so that "Israeli soldiers would shoot the mannequin, mistaking it for a man; an explosion would occur; and the soldiers would be driven or pulled into the hole, where they could be taken prisoner". A colonel estimated that one-third of all houses encountered were booby-trapped.[244] IDF Brigadier-General Eyal Eisenberg said that roadside bombs were planted in TV satellite dishes, adding that Hamas booby-trapping of homes and schools was "monstrous" and "inhumane".[245] Ron Ben-Yishai, an Israeli military correspondent embedded with invading ground forces, stated that entire blocks of houses were booby-trapped and wired in preparation for urban confrontation with the IDF. Israel claims to have found a map showing "the deployment of explosives and Hamas forces in the al-Atatra neighborhood in northern Gaza." This map allegedly shows that Hamas placed many explosives and firing positions in residential areas, several mosques, and next to a gas station.[246] Israel deployed the elite Sayeret Yahalom combat engineering unit throughout the brigades with new equipment including miniature robots and improved wall-breaching munitions to counter the booby-traps.[141]

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, armed groups in Gaza counted domestically produced anti-armor RPGs like al-Battar and Banna 1 and Banna 2 in their arsenal.[247] Hamas and Islamic Jihad also manufactured a variety of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), some of which were anti-personnel bombs and others were planted on the sides of roads or underground to be activated against tanks and armored personnel carriers. According to The Jerusalem Post, some of the IEDs were manufactured from medicine bottles transferred to the Gaza Strip as humanitarian aid by Israel.[248] The same newspaper also reported that Hamas representatives said they were fighting with the aid of armored vehicles and weapons confiscated from the Palestinian National Authority, given by Israel, the United States and other countries.[249]

Several witnesses told an Italian reporter that on many roofs of the tall buildings that were hit by Israeli bombs, including UN building, there were rocket-launchers or Hamas look-outs.[250][251] On January 27, the Shin Bet released details given by Hamas captives, including the militants' use of mosques for weapon caches and military training. Militants admitted to the location of Hamas weapon storage sites, in tunnels, in the homes of activists, and in citrus groves and mosques, and told of theory instruction given in mosques as well.[252] Following the visit of the British Army veteran Colonel Tim Collins to the ruins of one of the mosques targeted by the IDF in Rafah, he said that in his view the evidencies of the secondary explosion, that could have indicated weapon's storage in the mosque, are present.[253]

Rocket attacks into Israel

Kindergarten classroom in Beersheba hit by Grad rocket from Gaza[37]

After the initial Israeli aerial assault, Hamas quickly dispersed both its personnel and weapons and equipment.[254] The strike range of Hamas rockets had increased from 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) to 40 kilometres (25 mi) since early 2008 with the use of improved Qassam and factory-made rockets.[255] These attacks resulted in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure.[256] Rockets reached major Israeli cities Ashdod, Beersheba and Gedera for the first time, putting one-eighth of Israel's population in rocket range.[257] As of January 13, 2009, Palestinian militants had launched approximately 565 rockets and 200 mortars at Israel since the beginning of the conflict, according to Israeli security sources.[258] A source close to Hamas described the movement's use of stealth when firing: "They fired rockets in between the houses and covered the alleys with sheets so they could set the rockets up in five minutes without the planes seeing them. The moment they fired, they escaped, and they are very quick."[259] It is reported that 102 rockets and 35 mortars were fired by Fatah, Hamas's chief rival.[260]

Besides the rockets fired by the Qassam Brigades of Hamas, other factions claimed responsibility for rockets fired into Israel and attacks on Israeli soldiers, including Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (affiliated with Fatah), the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the Quds Brigades and the Popular Resistance Councils.[3] A Fatah official stated that the rocket attacks by his faction contradicted the official position of Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah leader and President of the Palestinian National Authority. Abbas had called on all sides to cease hostilities unconditionally.

Militants fired over 750 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel during the conflict.[261] Bersheeba and Gedera were the furthest areas hit by rocket or mortars.[261] The rockets killed three civilians and one IDF soldier and wounded 182 people, with another 584 people suffering from shock and anxiety syndrome.[262] The rockets also caused property damage, including damage to three schools.[37][263][264] Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar stated during the operation "they [Israeli forces] shelled everyone in Gaza.... They shelled children and hospitals and mosques, ... and in doing so, they gave us legitimacy to strike them in the same way."[265] Human Rights Watch noted in the open letter to Ismail Haniyeh that despite his Foreign Ministry stance as part of response to the Goldstone Report, Palestinian armed groups remain responsible for firing rockets indiscriminately or deliberately at Israeli civilian objects. HRW also noted that Palestinian militants put Palestinian civilians at risk of Israeli counter-attacks by launching rockets from populated areas.[41]

After the war, the Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades revealed new rockets it used during Israel's military operation and also published pictures of weapons(Tandem and RPG-29 anti-armor rockets) that it could secretly smuggle to Gaza.[266]

In addition to the rockets fired from Gaza, Israel experienced other attacks along the borders with Lebanon and Syria.[267]


Several reports stated that Hamas fighters shed their uniforms shortly after the start of the ground incursion.[268][269][270][271][272] Reports said that unwilling to come into the open space, Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been reportedly ordered to take off their uniforms.[151] An eyewitness to the only incident investigated by the UN mission that clearly involved Palestinian combatants said that three Palestinian fighters Israeli troops had surrounded in his neighbour's house were, "wearing military camouflage and headbands of the al-Qassam Brigades."[273] The UN Mission did note that reports by other human rights groups indicate that not all members of Palestinians armed groups were always dressed in military uniform.[273] In another instance Hamada Al-Samouni, a survivor of the Zeitoun incident, said he had seen the bodies of eight Hamas fighters dressed in civilian clothing lying in the streets around Zeitoun.[274]

The NY Times quotes a study published by the Israel-based Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, charging Hamas with methodically building its military infrastructure in the heart of population centers. According to the study, Hamas not only hides among the population, but has made a main component of its combat strategy “channeling” the army into the densely populated areas to fight.[275]

Several testimonies from local Gazan population and from IDF soldiers stated that Hamas operatives donned medic uniforms and commandeered ambulances for fighters transportation.[250][276][277][278] After the Israeli airstrike on the central prison which resulted in prisoners being released into the streets, several of the 115 prisoners accused of collaboration with Israel who had not yet been tried, were executed by Hamas militants in civilian clothes in the Shifa hospital compound.[279] An IDF probe, released on April 22, 2009, stated that an incident occurred where UN vehicle attacked by IDF occurred when a Palestinian anti-tank squad was being unloaded from the vehicle.[276] The Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry accused the Hamas-run government's security services of using several hospitals and clinics in Gaza as interrogation and detention centers, where medical staffers have been expelled, during and after the war.[280] The IDF probe made similar charges and stated that Hamas operated a command and control center inside Shifa Hospital in the Gaza City throughout the War.[281]

Amnesty International rejected the charges by Israel that Hamas had systematically used medical facilities, vehicles and uniforms as a cover, stating that no evidence had been provided proving such actions.[282] Further, Magen David Adom's submission to UN Mission investigating the war stated that, "there was no use of PRCS ambulances for the transport of weapons or ammunition ... [and] there was no misuse of the emblem by PRCS."[283]

Unilateral ceasefires

On January 17, Israeli officials announced a unilateral ceasefire, without an agreement with Hamas. In a press conference, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared the ceasefire effective that night, at 00:00 GMT on January 18.[284] The Israeli ceasefire was first suggested by Livni and consists of two phases worked out by Ehud Barak: "First a ceasefire is declared. If Hamas stops firing rockets then Israel pulls its forces out of the Gaza Strip. If rocket fire resumes then the IDF goes back in, this time with the international backing gained by having tried a truce."[285][286] Olmert declared that the military objectives had been met.[285]

Hamas initially "vowed to fight on",[287] and responded that any continued Israeli presence in Gaza would be regarded as an act of war. Farzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said before the ceasefire began, "The occupier must halt his fire immediately and withdraw from our land and lift his blockade and open all crossings and we will not accept any one Zionist soldier on our land, regardless of the price that it costs."[288] Palestinian militants resumed rocket fire into southern Israel the following Sunday morning, four of the supposed six fired landed in or near the town of Sderot.[289][290] The Israeli military returned fire and carried out an air strike against the rocket launching squad in the northern Gaza Strip.[291]

On January 18, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other paramilitias stated they would stop launching rockets into Israel for one week. The statement demanded "the withdrawal of the enemy forces from the Gaza Strip within a week, along with the opening of all the crossings for the entry of humanitarian aid, food and other necessities for our people in the Gaza Strip."[292][293][294]

On January 21, Israeli troops completed their pullout from the Gaza Strip.[295]

Shortly after Israel completed its troop pullout, Hamas declared "remarkable victory". Khaled Mashaal said that "the resistance won the battle in Gaza and the enemy failed in the field as it failed in politics. The enemy had to withdraw from the Strip without being able to impose any condition".[296]

Since the unilateral ceasefires were declared on January 17, militants have fired rockets and mortar shells from Gaza,[297][298] and the IDF has launched airstrikes against Gaza.[299]

Continued negotiations

Egyptian mediators held discussions with Israel and Hamas about extending the cease-fire by a year or more. Hamas and Fatah met in an effort to create a mechanism that would allow both to play a role in rebuilding.[300] Israel began pressuring Egypt to do more to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, the halting of which is one of Israel's central demands in extending a cease-fire. However, on 27 January 2009, Foreign Minister of Egypt Ahmed Aboul Gheit discouraged Britain, France and Germany from sending warships to patrol the waters off Gaza, which the three European nations felt could help halt seaborne smuggling. Gheit said such efforts would harm Europe's relations with the Arab world. Egypt also reacted coolly to suggestions that European troops should be stationed on the border between Gaza and Egypt to monitor smugglers' tunnels.[301]

Israel, along with many Western and some Arab countries, wanted international aid groups to control aid from donations around the world, so that Hamas would not receive credit for the rebuilding. Hamas, in order to speed up reconstruction, agreed on 27 January 2009 that it would not insist on collecting reconstruction money itself and would allow donated money to flow through different avenues based on the various alliances, although Hamas ultimately expected to administer the aid. But advisors to senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said Israel's willingness to open the border only for humanitarian aid was unacceptable, as Hamas would need much more to rebuild its economy and produce relief to citizens. Haniyeh officials said the cease-fire is contingent on a full border opening.[300]

On 20 January 2009, Barack Obama assumed the Presidency of the United States of America. Soon thereafter, Obama directed George J. Mitchell, his newly appointed special envoy to the Middle East, to visit Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia for peace talks. Mitchell began his meetings in Cairo on 27 January 2009 and Obama said his visit was part of the President's campaign promise to listen to both sides of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and work toward a Middle East peace deal. However, in a continuation of a George W. Bush administration policy, Mitchell did not plan to talk to Hamas, but instead focus on talks with the more moderate Palestinian Authority.[301] A spokesman for Haniyeh said he respected Mitchell, but was disappointed with the envoy's decision not to hold discussions with Hamas.[300]

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated that Israel would not agree to a long term truce or lift the blockade that it has imposed on Gaza without the freeing of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier held captive in Gaza since June 2006.[302][303] Hamas has insisted that Shalit's release be dependent on the release of 1,400 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and be kept separate from ceasefire negotiations.[304]

Post War Military Assessment

The war resulted in a tactical battlefield success for Israel and represented a significant tactical defeat for Hamas.[305][306][307][308][309]

Several senior Hamas military commanders and politburo members were killed. In addition, Hamas lost approximately 50 explosives experts[310] and experienced “widespread desertion” in the face of the Israeli advance.[310] A former Shin Bet deputy director who co-authored a report on the war noted, “Hamas had planned to stand and fight, but the Iz al-Qassam Brigades proved unequal to the task…and consequently they failed to match the public image Hamas has tried so hard to present of stalwart, proficient Islamic warriors.”[309]

In addition, the Israeli Gaza operation has greatly curtailed years of Hamas rocket fire, returning a sense of normality to Southern Israel.[311] In the year preceding the war, Hamas had fired over 3300 rockets at Israel’s Gaza periphery towns. That number dropped dramatically to fewer than 300 in the 10 months following the conflict.[312]

Defense analyst David Eshel stated “that the success of Operation Cast Lead in the densely populated Gaza Strip shows that an industrial military that coordinates operations among land, air and sea units, makes effective use of advanced technology, and shares intelligence and leads from the front can decisively defeat an asymmetrical enemy.” He further noted that “Israel used a variety of tactics to outflank and defeat Hamas in its own territory,” including, “long-term planning, meticulous intelligence-gathering, deception and disinformation.”[305]

As a result of its poor performance, Hamas has relieved at least two brigade commanders. The organization has also decided to initiate a thorough investigation of the conduct of its men during the operation.[313]

The Israeli army says it destroyed about 80% of the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt because they were being used to bring in weapons and rocket components. Residents in Rafah said they cleared away debris and discovered that many of the tunnels were intact, though they acknowledged the destruction of others.[314]


Most criticism after the war was leveled at Israel, with charges of disproportionate force and the destruction of Gaza.[315] Several months after the war ended, Hamas has suspended its use of rockets and shifted focus to winning support at home and abroad through cultural initiatives and public relations, with the aim to build a "cultural resistance". Hamas official stated that "The current situation required a stoppage of rockets. After the war, the fighters needed a break and the people needed a break".[316] Hamas also claimed that "rockets fired from Gaza were meant to hit military targets, but because they are unguided, they hit civilians by mistake."[315] Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center notes that Hamas' post-war policy of restraint has come under severe criticism from local radical Islamic organizations, which accused Hamas of abandoning the principle of jihad in order to strengthen its control over the Gaza Strip.[317] Israeli officials say that Hamas military commanders have recognized that their decision to take off their fatigues and don civilian clothing a few days into the fighting was a mistake that might had damaged morale and was perceived by Gazans as indicative that they had lost control of the territory; Hamas militants are now under orders to stay in uniform even if this makes them more easily targeted in Israeli air strikes.[318]

Propaganda and psychological warfare


Before and during the conflict, Hamas' senior representatives released number of statements designed to avert Israeli decision-makers from launching any military operation in Gaza and to cause demoralization among Israelis. Before the end of the pre-conflict ceasefire, Hamas boasted that it had countless surprises awaiting Israeli troops, should they advance.[319] Hamas representatives threatened on several occasions to abduct Israeli soldiers, and during the ground invasion tried to spread rumors that it actually had captured or killed more Israeli soldiers.[320]

On a video broadcasted on Al-Aqsa TV on January 10, showing the names of Israeli towns hit by rockets, it was implied Tel-Aviv is the next target and that 'all options are open'.[321] Also, Hamas sent messages in Hebrew to Israeli citizens' mobile phones warning: "Rockets on all cities, shelters will not protect you."[322][323]

Hamas instrumentalized the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as a form of psychological weapon, declaring that he had been wounded by Israeli fire, later announcing that his condition was no longer of interest to them.[319]

According to IDF spokesman, Hamas' ruses in the battlefield comprised of Gaza's neighborhoods riddled with booby traps, including mannequins placed at apartment entrances and rigged to explode when the soldiers approach.[320]

Arab television stations reported Hamas-provided statistics for Israeli casualties on the assumption that Israel is distorting its own figures of soldiers killed and wounded.[324]

A study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes that Hamas propaganda both rejected Hamas responsibility for the fighting and used it to attack the Palestinian Authority.[16]

Dr. Tal Pavel from Israeli think-tank International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) said that Hamas uses its Web sites to make comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, portraying Israel as a destructive, oppressive regime afraid of Hamas rockets raining on Tel Aviv.[324]


The day before the beginning of the offensive on December 27 the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) pulled troops back from the border and used its radio channels to broadcast talk of a "lull" in order to achieve a disinformation coup ("con") to lure Hamas fighters out of hiding.[325]

A broadcaster in Islamic Jihad's Voice of Jerusalem radio station in Gaza City reported that IDF have been breaking into his station signal "least once an hour" during conflict intensification to broadcast messages to Gaza population that their problems were due to Hamas. The army also dropped leaflets with similar messages and contact info to report about the whereabouts of militant leaders and weapons caches. [325] The leaflets also noted that "the Israeli army will respond if the rocket fire continues."[323] In war zones, leaflets warned local residents that they had to flee. It also warned residents that their homes would be targeted if they were located in an area of possible target.[326] Dr. Yaniv Levitan of the University of Haifa said that the aim of the flyers was not to demoralize the civil population, but to implant recognition in hearts and minds that Hamas has failed, that there is an option of choosing another path.[324]

IDF spokespersons often reported that scores of demoralized Hamas fighters had been observed deserting. The claim strengthened the Israeli will to continue and undermined the confidence in Hamas in Gaza.[319]

There was a mistrust of phone calls warning messages to people that they have "just minutes to evacuate before they bomb the house." According to a human rights lawyer at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), despite the hundreds of phone calls to families warning their house is about to be blown up, only 37 were destroyed, presumably as of the January 3 date.[323]


Palestinian girl killed during the conflict.[327]
An Israeli women injured in a rocket attack in Beersheba[citation needed]

Gaza War Dead estimates made by Human Rights NGOs and by the the involved combatants:

Human Rights NGOs Combatants
B'Tselem[328][329] Palestinian Centre for Human Rights[330][331] Israeli Defense Forces[332] Palestinian Ministry of Health, Gaza[333]
Palestinian TOTAL 1385 1417 1166 1440
Palestinian combatants 330/375* 236 709**
Palestinian non-combatants 762 926 295
Women 107 116 49 114
Minors/Children 318 313 89 431
Police officers 248**** 255*****
Israeli TOTAL 13*** 13***
Israeli combatants 10*** 10***
Israeli non-combatants 3 3

* B'Tselem was unable to classify 36 deaths, including six children, as combatant or non-combatant; With the release of the updated figures in December 2009, it is unclear whether the number of combatants remain 330 or change to 375.

** The IDF regards Gazan police as part of the Hamas armed forces.[334]

*** Includes 4 IDF soldiers killed by the IDF in friendly fire incidents.

**** The figure refers to Police officers killed at police stations.

***** The figure refers to what PCHR claimed was non-combatant civil police officers.[335]

Other casualties

The World Health Organization reported that sixteen health personnel were killed and that 22 health personnel were injured over the course of the offensive.[336] In response, the Israeli Defense Ministry stated that nine of the sixteen medical personnel killed were Hamas operatives, referring to publications on Hamas affiliated Web sites.[337] The UNRWA reported that five of its staff members were killed and that eleven staff members were injured.[336] The World Food Programme reported that one of its contractors was killed and that two were injured.[336]

Hamas gunmen killed one Egyptian border guard and wounded another on December 28.[338] Shrapnel from an Israeli air strike near the Rafah border crossing wounded two border guards and two Egyptian children.[11] A Ukrainian woman married to a Palestinian and their daughter were killed by Israeli tank shelling on January 8; the couple's other daughter was wounded.[339]

In 2009, the United Nations Mine Action Centre reported that 12 people have been killed and 27 injured in the Gaza Strip by unexploded ordnance since the ceasefire.[45]

Disputed figures

Difficulties in ascertaining an accurate Palestinian casualty count have been attributed to a number of factors. It was reported that Hamas fighters had been ordered not to wear military uniforms during the fighting.[340][341] Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in The Jerusalem Post that this practice led to the over-counting of civilian casualties and under-counting Hamas military casualties, as Palestinian casualties arrived at hospitals without weapons or any other signs revealing they were actually fighters.[342] Further difficulties were encountered due to differing definitions of who should be counted as a combatant, and the lack of access to the conflict zone by independent media or human rights workers due to Israel's strict blockade of the borders before, during, and after the conflict.[343]

Based on data collected by Amnesty International delegates in Gaza and on cases documented by local NGOs, Amnesty concluded that an overall figure of some 1,400 fatalities is accurate and that, in addition to some 300 children, 115 women and 85 men aged over 50, some 200 men aged less than 50 were unarmed civilians who took no part in the hostilities.[344]

Israeli officials have stated that the PMoH significantly inflated the civilian death toll and played down the number of Hamas casualties.[345] UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes has stated that the PMoH figures have not been seriously challenged.[346]

B'Tselem figures

B'Tselem wrote that the fact that a person is listed among the fatalities, or noting that a person was a civilian or that he or she was not taking part in hostilities at the time of death, does not indicate that a breach of law was committed, or that the person killed was innocent. The NGO stressed that the data does not, in and of itself, lead to legal or moral conclusions. Nevertheless, as of September 2009, B'Tselem said it did not receive satisfactory answers to about 20 cases that raise suspicion of breaches of laws of armed conflict that had been sent to Israel's Attorney General and the military's Judge Advocate General.[347]

B'Tselem stated that their count was based on testimonies from eye-witnesses and relatives of the dead, cross-checked with investigations carried out by Palestinian and international human rights organizations.[328] The NGO added that some difficulties in estimating the death toll could be attributed to the IDF's refusal to allow them into the Gaza Strip after the conflict had ended to supplement the work of field-researchers there. B'Tselem also noted that the IDF refused to release its list of casualties to allow B'Tselem to cross check the names against its own list.[328]

B'Tselem wrote that its fatalities classification was based on the guidelines of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) published in June 2009. The ICRC opined that anyone who fulfills a "continuous combat function" should be considered a combatant even if he is not taking a direct part in hostilities at the moment he is killed and a person who does not fulfill a continuous combat function, but is killed when directly participating in hostilities, is also considered a combatant; persons who continuously accompany or support an organized armed group but whose function does not involve direct participation in hostilities maintain their status as civilians and are not legitimate objects of attack.[347] ICRC spokesman said that the aim of its recommendatios, which are not legally binding, was to provide the ICRC's view on to how implement the notion of 'direct participation in hostilities' in contemporary armed conflict.[348] All 50 experts on the law of armed conflict, who provided advice to ICRC, had agreed that civilians who act as voluntary human shields should fit within the definition of persons who take direct part in hostilities, which would make them legitimate military targets, opposing to the view expressed in ICRC's publication.[348]

In the article published in SPME, B'Tselem casualties findings were dubbed flawed due to the group's restrictive definitions of combatants, resulting in "misclassification biases". The authors also claim that B’Tselem data show a high male to female ratio - greater than 4.0 - among teens and adults classified as non-combatants, suggesting that many dead male civilians could have been involved in combatant situations, either as shields, fighters, circumstantial helpers, sporadic helpers, or bystanders who were drawn into the goings on.[349][350]

PCHR figures

The PCHR stated that the large number of civilians among the dead is proof that Israeli troops "used excessive and random force through the entire period of aggression, violating the principle of distinction between combatants and civilians".[351] The NGO also contested the IDF figures, saying that it regarded them as a "deliberate manipulative attempt" to distort the reality of the attacks, and to "disguise Israeli illegal actions".[352] The PCHR civilian count included Hamas members killed in what the PCHR assessed were non-combat situations.[353] The PCHR's representative reaffirmed further its own figures, saying that extensive investigation and cross-checking was done in researching the numbers and identities of Palestinians killed; he assured that the fatalities list does not include deaths caused by "internal events" or natural causes, refuting allegations from some Israeli security sources. [354] The Israeli International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) compiled a report on their research of the casualties figures published by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, supplemented by Hamas and Fatah websites and official Palestinian government online sources.[355] The ICT claimed that many of those listed by PCHR as civilians, including civil policemen, were in fact hailed as militant martyrs by Hamas. The ICT also claimed that some of the civilians were Fatah members killed by Hamas and that among the youngsters counted as children by the PCHR, 18 combatants were identified.[356] Based on their examination of age distribution of the casualties listed by PCHR, the ICT estimated that 63% to 75% of the Palestinians killed in Gaza War appear to have been specifically-targeted, combat-aged males, and stated that PCHR’s own data refutes claim that Israel’s attacks were indiscriminate.[356]

A Palestinian police officer injured during the conflict.[357]

Police classification

Human Rights Watch stated that police are presumptively civilians but are considered valid targets if formally incorporated into the armed forces of a party to a conflict or directly participate in the hostilities.[358] The IDF made clear that it regards police under the control of Hamas in Gaza to be inherently equivalent to armed fighters, including them in the militant's count.[354] The PCHR representative argued however that Israel wrongly classified 255 police officers killed at the outset of the war as militants,[359] explaining that International Law regards policemen who are not engaged in fighting as non-combatants or civilians.[354] Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) compiled a report claiming that during Gaza War many supposedly civil policemen were at the same time operatives in Hamas’s military wing.[360] ITIC stated that Hamas' military wing recruits police officers for military operations and that police forces were drafted to fight Israel during the war in January 2009.[361] One of ITIC bulletins also presented supposed evidence of Hamas policy to hide details of Hamas men who got killed or injured in the fighting.[362]

B'Tselem in its fatalities' figures report wrote that it knew many police officers in the Gaza Strip are also members of the military wings of Palestinian armed groups, and might have taken part in hostilities against Israel. At the same time, the NGO did not possess concrete information on integration of police officers in the combat forces of Hamas and was unable to determine whether all the police officers were legitimate targets or whether the Palestinian police in Gaza, as an institution, is part of the combat forces of Hamas, all of whose members carry out a continuous combat function. For these reasons, police officers that were killed in an attack aimed at police or police stations, were listed by B'Tselem in a separate category.[347]

The Goldstone Report concluded that while there were many individual Gaza policemen who were members of militant groups, the Gaza police forces were a civilian police force and "cannot be said to have been taking a direct part in hostilities and thus did not lose their civilian immunity from direct attack as civilians".[133] The report did not "rule out the possibility that there might be individuals in the police force who retain their links to the armed groups" but finds no evidence that the police were part of the Gaza armed forces and that it "could not verify the allegations of membership of armed groups of policemen."[133] NGO UN Watch noted that the Goldstone Report relies on the testimony of the Gaza police spokesperson Islam Shahwan and accepts the interpretation of his own words "face the enemy" as meaning "distributing food stuffs".[363] In the initial response to the fact-finding mission's report, issued on 24 September 2009, Israeli Government further added that "in seeking to support its assertion" that the police in Gaza were a civilian police force, not only did the committee reinterpreted some of the evidences, but also ignored other explicit statements of the police officials, e.g. the alleged admission by Hamas police chief Jamal al-Jarrah that "the police took part in the fighting alongside the resistance".[364]


A graph showing reduced rocket and mortar strikes within Israel[citation needed]

There were multiple economic, industrial and medical effects of the Gaza War. The United Nations Development Programme warned that there will be long-term consequences of the attacks on Gaza because the livelihoods and assets of tens of thousands of Gaza civilians have been affected.[365]

Early estimates by independent contractors in Gaza say that Gaza lost nearly $2 billion in assets, including 4,000 homes destroyed.[366] The IDF destroyed 600–700 factories, small industries, workshops and business enterprises throughout the Gaza Strip[367], 24 mosques, 31 security compounds, and 10 water or sewage lines. [368] The World Health Organization said that 34 health facilities (8 hospitals and 26 primary health care clinics) were damaged over the course of the offensive and the UNOCHA said that over 50 United Nations facilities sustained damage, of which 28 reported damage in the first three days of the operation.[336]

A satellite-based damage assessment of the Gaza Strip by the United Nations revealed 2,692 destroyed and severely damaged buildings, 220 impact craters on roads and bridges with an estimated length of 167 kilometres (104 mi) of paved and unpaved roads damaged, 714 impact craters on open ground or cultivated land with an estimated land area of 2,100 hectares (21 km2), 187 greenhouses completely destroyed or severely damaged with an estimated area of 28 hectares (0.28 km2), and 2,232 hectares (22.32 km2) of demolished zones targeted by IDF bulldozers, tanks and phosphorus shelling.[369]

Gaza humanitarian crisis

A satellite-based damage assessment of the Gaza Strip by the United Nations (UNOSAT). February 2009

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the Gaza strip humanitarian crisis is significant and should not be understated. It also states that the situation is a "human dignity crisis" in the Gaza strip, entailing "a massive destruction of livelihoods and a significant deterioration of infrastructure and basic services". Fear and panic are widespread; 80 percent of the population could not support themselves and were dependent on humanitarian assistance.[155] The International Red Cross said the situation was "intolerable" and a "full blown humanitarian crisis."[370] The importation of necessary food and supplies continues to be blocked even after the respective ceasefires.[371] According to the World Food Programme, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry was wrecked. With extensive damage occurring to water sources, greenhouses, and farmland. It is estimated that 60% of the agricultural land in the north of the Strip may no longer be arable.[372][373] More than 50,800 Gazans were left homeless.[366] Extensive destruction was caused to commercial enterprises and to public infrastructure. According to Palestinian industrialists, 219 factories were destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli military operation. They accounted as part of the 3% of industrial capacity that was operating after the Israeli blockade was imposed, which was mostly destroyed during the operation.[374]

On January 3, prior to the IDF ground operation, Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni said that Israel had taken care to protect the civilian population of Gaza, and that it had kept the humanitarian situation "completely as it should be", maintaining Israel's earlier stance.[375] The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, criticized Livni's statement and further criticized the Security Council for not responding faster to the crisis.[376] On subsequent reports, the UN stated that "only an immediate cease-fire will be able to address the large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis that faces the people of Gaza".[377]

The Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations has stated that after the end of the Israeli operation, at best, only 120 truckloads get into Gaza, instead of the normal daily requirement, including commercial traffic, of 500 trucks at minimum. It is also reported in his statement and other UN humanitarian office reports that essential items such as construction materials, water pipes, electrical wires, and transformers continue to be effectively banned, or only allowed infrequently.[346][374][378][379] He also stated that commercial goods must be allowed in and out, since Gaza Palestinians "do not want or deserve to be dependent on humanitarian aid" and that the "limited trickle" of items into Gaza continue the effective collective punishment of the civilian population and force the counter-productive reliance on tunnels for daily essentials.[346][380]

As a result of the conflict, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and over 50 nations donated humanitarian aid to Gaza, including the United States which donated over $20 million.[381] On January 7, a UN Relief Works Agency spokesman acknowledged that he was "aware of instances where deliveries of humanitarian aid into Gaza" were diverted by the Hamas government, though never from his agency.[382] Additionally, on February 3, blankets and food parcels were confiscated by Hamas police personnel from an UNRWA distribution center, and on February 4, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator demanded that the aid be returned immediately.[379] The Hamas government issued a statement stating that the incident was a misunderstanding between the drivers of the trucks and has been resolved through direct contact with the UNRWA.[383] On February 9, UNRWA lifted the suspension on the movement of its humanitarian supplies into Gaza, after the Hamas authorities returned all of the aid supplies confiscated.[384] The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has described the Israeli procedures for humanitarian organizations entrance to Gaza as inconsistent and unpredictable ones that impedes the ability of organizations to effectively plan their humanitarian response and obstructs efforts to address the humanitarian crisis brought by the 18 months blockade and Israel's military operation.[385] The UN also reported that international organizations have faced "unprecedented denial" of access to Gaza by Israel since 5 November and that humanitarian access remains unreliable and needs to be granted in a daily basis unrestricted.[386]

In a damage assessment by the World Health Organization, 48% of the 122 health facilities assessed were found to be damaged or destroyed. 15 of Gaza's 27 hospitals and 41 primary health care centers suffered damages. 29 ambulances were partially damaged or destroyed.[387] Injured patients needing referral outside Gaza for specialized care were evacuated exclusively through the Egyptian Rafah border crossing. In the early stages of the conflict, Hamas sealed the border, and prevented wounded Palestinians from seeking medical attention in Egypt.[388] On 30 December, the organization allowed a trickle of medical evacuations from Gaza, but restricted their number.[389] Gaza Ministry of Health reported that between December 29 and January 22, 608 injured were evacuated through Rafah. The Israeli Erez crossing was closed much of the period and only 30 patients were able to exit during the crisis.[385][387] An initial survey conducted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) estimates that 14,000 homes, 68 government buildings, and 31 non-governmental organization offices (NGOs) were either totally or partially damaged. As a result, an estimated 600,000 tonnes of concrete rubble will need to be removed.[379] Since 2007, construction material have not permitted entry into Gaza, adversely affecting UN projects, in particular UNRWA and UNDP which were forced to suspend more than $100 million in construction projects due to lack of materials.[378]

One year after the ceasefire approximately 20,000 people remained displaced.[390]


According to HRW, during the Gaza War, rocket attacks placed up to 800,000 people within range of attack.[41]

During the conflict, life in much of southern Israel was paralyzed by Hamas rocket and mortar fire.[391] The Israeli Home Front Command issued detailed emergency instructions to Israeli citizens for preparing for and dealing with rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The instructions included orders to stay within a certain distance of bomb shelters based on proximity to the source of the rockets.[392] Hamas' Grad rockets' increased range of 40 km put more than 700,000 Israelis within strike range,[393] prompting 40% of the residents of the southern city of Ashkelon to flee the city,[394] despite official calls to stay.[395] Schools and universities in southern Israel began to close due to rocket threats on December 27.[396] Palestinian rockets landed on Israeli educational facilities several times during the conflict with no casualties.[397][398][399] Studies officially resumed on January 11. Only schools with fortified classrooms and bomb shelters were allowed to bring students in, and IDF Home Front Command representatives were stationed in the schools;[400][401] attendance was low.[402][403][404] The largest hospital on Israel's southern coast, Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital, moved its critical treatment facilities into an underground shelter after a Gaza-fired rocket struck beside its helicopter pad on December 28.[405]

International law

Accusations of violations regarding international humanitarian law, which governs the actions by belligerents during an armed conflict, have been directed at both Israel and Hamas for their actions during the Gaza War. The accusations covered violating laws governing distinction and proportionality by Israel, the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian locations and extrajudicial violence within the Gaza Strip by Hamas.[50][406] As of September 2009, some 360 complaints had been filed by individuals and NGOs at the prosecutor's office in the Hague calling for investigations into alleged crimes committed by Israel during the Gaza War.[407]

On September 15, 2009, a 574 page report by UN inquiry team was released, officially titled "Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict". It concluded that the Israel Defence Force (IDF) and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.[408] On October 16, 2009, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the report.[409]

Human rights organizations have urged both Israel and Hamas to implement an independent investigation into the alleged violations of international law as stipulated by the Goldstone report.[410][411][412]


Photojournalists during the conflict

International news networks named the conflict "War in Gaza" and focused on the assault. Israeli media called it the "War in the South" and dispatched reporters to Israeli towns hit by rockets.[17] Al Jazeera suggested that it was a war against Palestinian civilians with the title "War on Gaza".[18] There was limited reporter access to the war zone. The Foreign Press Association of Israel released a statement saying, “The unprecedented denial of access to Gaza for the world’s media amounts to a severe violation of press freedom and puts the state of Israel in the company of a handful of regimes around the world which regularly keep journalists from doing their jobs.” [413]

Media facilities in Gaza, both foreign and domestic, came under Israeli fire in the military campaign.[414] On one occasion a Grad rocket may have been launched from a location near the television studios in the Al-Shuruk tower in Gaza City. Although the Israeli recording of a reporter describing a rocket launch was during the initial aerial bombardment phase the tower was only bombed in the final few days.[415] On December 29, the IDF destroyed the facilities and headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV (though broadcasts continue from elsewhere), and on January 5, the IDF bombed the offices of the Hamas-affiliated Al-Risala newsweekly.[414] On January 9, the IDF hit the Johara tower of Gaza City, which houses more than 20 international news organizations, including Turkish, French, and Iranian outlets.[416]

Media relations also played an important role, with the use of new media (up to and including cyber warfare) on the part of both Israel and Hamas.[citation needed] Haaretz reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni "instructed senior ministry officials to open an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign in order to gain support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip." Israeli officials at embassies and consulates worldwide have mounted campaigns in local media, and to that end have recruited people who speak the native language. Israel has also opened an international media centre in Sderot.[417] In an effort to improve Israeli public relations, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption has recruited 1,000 volunteers with the objective of flooding news websites and blogs that the ministry term as anti-Israeli with pro-Israeli opinions. Volunteers proficient in languages other than Hebrew were particularly sought after.[418][419][420][421]

Foreign Press Branch head Avital Leibovich believes the "new media" is another war zone, stating, "We have to be relevant there." As part of its public-relations campaign, the Israeli army opened a Youtube channel “through which it will disseminate footage of precision bombing operations in the Gaza Strip, as well as aid distribution and other footage of interest to the international community.”[422][423]


The United Nations Security Council issued a statement on December 28, 2008 calling "for an immediate halt to all violence".[424] The Arab League,[425] the European Union and many nations made similar calls.[426] On January 9, 2009, following an earlier, failed attempt at a ceasefire resolution,[427] the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1860 calling for "an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire" leading to a full Israeli withdrawal and an end to Gaza arms smuggling, by 14 votes to one abstention (the United States).[428] The resolution was ignored by both Israel and Hamas.[429]

Governmental proclamations regarding the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict      Israel-Gaza      States that endorsed the Israeli position/defined Israel's action as falling within its right to defense.     States that condemned Hamas action only.     States that endorsed the Hamas position/defined Hamas' actions as falling within its right of resistance.     States that condemned Israeli action only.     States that called for an end to hostilities, and condemned neither/both belligerents.      States that made no official statement on the conflict.

Many governments expressed positions on the conflict, most condemning both belligerents, or neither of them. Thirty-four states, mostly members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, condemned Israel's attacks exclusively. Three of them - Iran, Libya and North Korea - expressed support for Hamas' operations or defined them as falling within its right of resistance. Nineteen states, mostly members of the European Union, condemned Hamas' attacks exclusively. Thirteen of them - Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Panama and the United States - expressed support for Israel's operations or defined them as falling within Israel's right to self defense.

Bolivia, Jordan, Mauritania and Venezuela significantly downscaled or severed their relations with Israel in protest of the offensive.[430][431][432][433]

The conflict was marked by worldwide civilian demonstrations for and against both sides, with many protesters disagreeing with their governments' official position on the conflict.[434] Protests in Egypt led to controversial police detentions of Islamist protesters.[435]

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on December 28, ordering them to "defend the defenseless women, children and people in Gaza in any way possible", and calling those who die as "martyr[s]".[436] More than 70,000 Iranian student volunteers have registered to carry out attacks against Israel. Several riots broke out in Tehran where students demanded to be sent to Gaza where they could fight the Israelis.[437]

The conflict triggered a wave of reprisal attacks against Jewish targets in Europe and elsewhere.[438] The worldwide number of recorded antisemitic incidents during the conflict more than tripled the number of such incidents in the same period of the previous year, marking a two-decade high.[439]

The British government reviewed all export licenses to Israel for violations of EU and national arms export control laws and decided to revoke the export licenses for a number of armaments because they were used by Israel in the Gaza offensive. The revocation of the export licenses applied to replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 gunships used by Israel. British policy is not to export armaments "where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression." Ever since the Israeli offensive, human rights organizations in Britain have exerted pressure on the British Parliament to evaluate whether export control laws were broken by Israel's use of British armaments.[440]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Hamas leader in Syria announce one-week ceasefire in Gaza". Xinhua. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Hamas agrees to 1-week ceasefire". CBC News. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  3. ^ a b c Shane Bauer. "Palestinian factions united by war". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  4. ^ Jason Koutsoukis. "Israeli troops enter Gaza". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  5. ^ a b Esposito, Michele K. (Spring 2009). Military Dimensions: The Israeli Arsenal Deployed against Gaza. 38. Journal of Palestine Studies. pp. p. 175–191.. ISSN 1533-8614. 
  6. ^ Israel steps up attacks in Gaza; Hamas indicates it's open to a truce. By Sebastian Rotella and Rushdi abu Alouf. January 13, 2009. LA Times.
  7. ^ a b Field update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator. 24-26 January 2009. OCHA oPt (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory). [1].
  8. ^ a b c d e Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (19 March 2009). "Confirmed figures reveal the true extent of the destruction inflicted upon the Gaza Strip; Israel’s offensive resulted in 1,417 dead, including 926 civilians, 255 police officers, and 236 fighters.". Press release. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d Lappin, Yaakov. IDF releases Cast Lead casualty, The Jerusalem Post, March 26, 2009.
  10. ^ סוכנויות הידיעות. "קצין מצרי נהרג מירי אנשי חמאס סמוך למעבר רפיח" (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Two Egyptian Children, Police Injured in Israeli Air Strike Near Gaza Border". 2009-01-11. 
  12. ^ "Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone'" 19 January 2009 Link retrieved 19-01-09
  13. ^
  14. ^ Gaza Facts - The Israeli Perspective Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website
  15. ^ Paul Woodward (March 23, 2009). "Israel's religious war". Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Anthony H. Cordesman, ‘THE “GAZA WAR”: A Strategic Analysis,’ Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2009 p.7
  17. ^ a b "Israel media on defensive over Gaza war coverage". Agence France-Presse. January 14, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b Meyer, Bill (January 13, 2009). "Despite Gaza toll, Israeli media focus on Israel". The Plain Dealer (Advance Publications). Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  19. ^ Cohen, Lauren. Achmat weighs in on Israeli 'war architect' Sunday Times. Jul 26, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
  21. ^ Medical equipment in Gaza’s hospitals. UNISPAL Website 2009-07-31
  22. ^ Gaza-Israel truce in jeopardy , AlJazeera, 15 December 2008
  23. ^ Hamas says it will not renew ceasefire, James Hider, Times Online, 19 December 2008
  24. ^ a b c Israel launches deadly Gaza attacks, The Guardian, December 27, 2008
  25. ^ TIMELINE - Israeli-Hamas violence since truce ended, Reuters 05-01-2009
  26. ^ Ilene R. Prusher, 'Hamas remains defiant despite pounding' Christian Science Monitor 13/01/2009
  27. ^ Bright, Arthur. Israel set to launch ‘limited operation’ in Gaza, Christian Science Monitor, December 26, 2008.
  28. ^ a b Israel rejects war crimes findings of UN Gaza inquiry The Guardian Website 2009-09-16
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b c ynetnews Rocket barrages hit Beersheba, Ashkelon; 5 lightly hurt, December 31, 2008
  38. ^ Rockets land east of Ashdod, Ynetnews, December 28, 2008; Rockets reach Beersheba, cause damage, Ynetnews, December 30, 2008.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ a b c
  42. ^ Hamas, Israel set independent cease-fires, CNN International; Last Israeli troops 'leave Gaza', BBC News, January 21, 2009.
  43. ^ Al-Mughrabi, Nidal. Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza, Reuters, January 12, 2009; Lappin, Yaakov. IDF releases Cast Lead casualty, The Jerusalem Post, March 26, 2009.
  44. ^ Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone', BBC News, January 19, 2009; 'Scale of Gaza destruction emerges', BBC News, January 19, 2009; Beaumont, Peter. A life in ruins, The Observer, July 5, 2009.
  45. ^ a b "Country Overviews - Occupied Palestinian Territory". United Nations Mine Action Service. 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  46. ^ UN condemns 'war crimes' in Gaza, BBC News, September 15, 2009.
  47. ^
  48. ^ "Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza". HRW. 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  49. ^ "Disease risk assessment and interventions; Gaza January 2009". World Health Organization. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  50. ^ a b "Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: The conflict in Gaza: A briefing on applicable law, investigations and accountability". Amnesty International. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  51. ^ "Human Rights Council Special Session on the Occupied Palestinian Territories" July 6, 2006; Human Rights Watch considers Gaza still occupied.
  52. ^ Levs, Josh (2009-01-06). "Is Gaza 'occupied' territory?". CNN. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  53. ^ "Legal Acrobatics: The Palestinian Claim that Gaza is Still "Occupied" Even After Israel Withdraws". JCPA. August 26, 2005. 
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ Gaza under blockade, BBC, June 15, 2009.
  60. ^ Fatah, Hamas fight for border control
  61. ^
  62. ^ Isabel Kershner (2007-12-14). "Abbas’s Premier Tells Israel to Reopen Gaza". New York Times. 
  63. ^ Kevin Dowling, 'Strikes on Gaza continue ahead of imminent ceasefire,' The Times 17/01/2009 p.2
  64. ^ The Chronic Crisis in Gaza. Israel may consider launching a broader ground invasion of the Gaza Strip if rocket attacks continue.
  65. ^ "Indiscriminate Fire Palestinian Rocket Attacks on Israel and Israeli Artillery Shelling in the Gaza Strip". HRW. June 30, 2007. pp. 143. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  66. ^ a b "POC_Monthly_Tables_October_2008". OCHA-oPt. October 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  67. ^ Summary of Rocket Fire and Mortar Shelling in 2008. (pdf) Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Retrieved January 14, 2009. pp. 5-7. Drop in rocket fire calculated from data provided in report.
  68. ^ Isabel Kershner (2008-06-25). "Rockets hit Israel, breaking Hamas truce". International Herald Tribune. 
  69. ^ Hamas offering Israel truce, not peace. USA Today. Published 3/12/2008.
  70. ^ a b c d e BRONNER, ETHAN (2008-12-19). "Gaza Truce May Be Revived by Necessity". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  71. ^ a b "Israel Agrees to Truce with Hamas on Gaza". NY Times. 18-06-2008. 
  72. ^ a b c Israel confirms Hamas ceasefire deal, Independant, June 18, 2008
  73. ^ Top Defense Ministry official: If Shalit is not released, Rafah stays closed, YNET, June 16, 2008
  74. ^ Israel reopens third Gaza crossing Al-jazeera, June 29, 2008
  75. ^ Jimmy Carter on "An Unnecessary War", The Nation, January 8, 2009
  76. ^ UN Press Conference on Gaza humanitarian situation
  77. ^ FACTBOX-Israel, Palestinians trade blame for truce violations Reuters. 26 Jun 2008
  78. ^ Qassam lands in Sderot backyard, YNET, June 24, 2008
  79. ^ a b Mortar shells land near southern kibbutz, YNET, June 27, 2008
  80. ^ Palestinians fire mortars at Karni crossing, YNET, June 29, 2008
  81. ^ Two Kassam rockets lands in western Negev region; none wounded, JPost, June 30, 2008
  82. ^ PCHR weekly report No. 26/2008 19–25 June 2008
  83. ^ a b "Israeli leaders 'to topple Hamas'". BBC News. 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  84. ^ Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen, Guardian, Rory McCarthy, 5 November 2008
  85. ^ "Official Statistics About the lull Zionist Violations From the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Information Office" - "إحصائية رسمية صادرة عن المكتب الإعلامي لكتائب القسام حول الانتهاكات الصهيونية للتهدئة". Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Information Office. 2008-12-18. Archived from the original on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  86. ^ BBC
  87. ^ a b c Sofer, Roni (December 13, 2008). "Israel in favor of extending Gaza lull". Ynetnews.,7340,L-3637877,00.html. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  88. ^
  89. ^ Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC) December 31, 2008
  90. ^ "Rockets from Gaza - Harm to Civilians from Palestinian Armed Groups’ Rocket Attacks". Human Rights Watch. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  91. ^ a b Letter to Hamas to Stop Rocket Attacks, HRW, November 20, 2008
  92. ^ "Gaza ceasefire at risk". Amnesty International. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  93. ^ a b Rockets fired after Gaza clashes, BBC, November 5, 2009
  94. ^ Porter, Gareth (2009-01-09). "Israel Rejected Hamas Ceasefire Offer In December". Huffington Post. Inter Press Service. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  95. ^ Rory McCarthy (11/5/2008). "Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen". Guardian. 
  96. ^ Hider, James (November 6, 2008). "Six die in Israeli attack over Hamas 'tunnel under border to kidnap soldier'". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  97. ^ "Israel decides to maintain Gaza blockade". The Telegraph. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  98. ^ ""Hamas militants step up rocket attacks"". November 15, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  99. ^ Israel Rejected Hamas Ceasefire Offer in December, IPS, January 9, 2009
  100. ^ a b Gaza-Israel truce in jeopardy, Al Jazeera, December 15, 2009
  101. ^ 2 Qassams hit south Israel; no injuries, YNET, December 12, 2008
  102. ^ Rocket, mortars land in Negev, YNET, December 13, 2008
  103. ^ Qassam rocket lands in open area in western Negev; no injuries reported, YNET, December 14, 2008
  104. ^ Qassam lands near Ashkelon; no injuries, YNET, December 15
  105. ^ 4 Qassams land in Negev; child suffers shock, YNET, December 16, 2008
  106. ^ 4 Qassams fired at western Negev, YNET, December 16, 2008
  107. ^ High alert ahead of cease-fire's end, JPost, December 17
  108. ^ TIMELINE - Israeli-Hamas violence since truce ended, Reuters, January 5, 2009
  109. ^
  110. ^ Hamas says it will not renew ceasefire, Times, December 19, 2009
  111. ^ a b Harel, Amos; Avi Issacharoff , Barak Ravid (December 21, 2008). "Hamas declares end to cease-fire, Israeli gov't sources fear violence is unavoidable". Haaretz. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  112. ^ Lull ends: 3 Qassams hit western Negev, YNET, December 19, 2008
  113. ^ 5 Qassams fired towards Negev Saturday evening, YNET, December 20, 2008
  114. ^
  115. ^ Nahmias, Roee (December 23, 2008). "Hamas: Willing to renew truce". Yedioth Ahronoth.,7340,L-3642815,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  116. ^ 6 Qassams explode in western Negev, YNET, December 23, 2008
  117. ^ 2 Qassams, 8 mortar shells fired at Negev overnight YNET, December 24, 2008
  118. ^ a b al-Mughrabi, Nidal (December 24, 2008). "Flare-up dims truce hopes along Israel-Gaza border". Gaza City, PS: Reuters. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  119. ^ "Hamas: 87 shells fired at Israeli targets in 24 hours". Bethlehem, PS: Ma’an News. 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  120. ^ Katz, Yaakov; Herb Keinon (December 24, 2008). "IDF gets green light to strike Hamas after rocket barrage". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  121. ^ "Olmert Delivers 'Last Minute' Warning to Gaza". December 25, 2008.,2933,472856,00.html. 
  122. ^ 6 Qassams land in southern Israel, YNET, December 25, 2008
  123. ^ "Ha’aretz". 
  124. ^ "Israeli attacks on Gaza kill 227". Yahoo. December 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  125. ^ "Israel Reopens Gaza Crossings". The New York Times. December 26, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  126. ^ Humanitarian assistance to Gaza during the period of calm (June 19 - Dec 18, 2008) IMFA, 2008
  127. ^ "Six months of secret planning - then Israel moves against Hamas". The Guardian. 
  128. ^ Barak Ravid. "Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about". Ha'aretz. 
  129. ^ Ravid, Barak (December 27, 2008). "Disinformation, secrecy, deception: How the Gaza offensive came about". Haaretz. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  130. ^ MIDEAST: Gaza Becomes a Chessboard for Israeli Leaders (IPS)
  131. ^
  132. ^ a b c d e f g ">"In Gaza, Both Sides Reveal New Gear". Defense News. January 5, 2009. 
  133. ^ a b c "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict". United Nations Human Rights Council. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  134. ^ a b c Katz, Yaakov (December 28, 2008). "A year’s intel yields ‘alpha hits’". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  135. ^ a b "Casualties". Reuters. December 27, 2008. 
  136. ^
  137. ^ name="Alarabiya1">At least 205 killed as Israeli pounds Gaza, Alarabiya, December 27, 2008
  138. ^
  139. ^
  140. ^ Barzak, Ibrahim; Jason Keyser (2009-01-04). "Israeli troops, tanks slice deep into Gaza". Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  141. ^ a b c d e Eshel, David (2009-05-11). "New Tactics Yield Solid Victory in Gaza". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  142. ^ a b c Esposito, Michele K. (Spring 2000). "Isreali Arsenal Deployed Against Gaza During Operation Cast Lead". Journal of Palestine Studies (Institute for Palestine Studies) XXXVIII (3): 175–191. ISSN 1533-8614. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  143. ^ "Examining the Conduct of IDF Operations in Gaza". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. March 27, 2009. 
  144. ^ a b c d e Opall-Rome, Barbara (2009-03-08). "Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan". DefenceNews. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  145. ^ Hanan Greenberg (January 18, 2009). "IDF ponders response to rocket fire". Ynet.,7340,L-3658356,00.html. 
  146. ^ "Profile of a professor who was prepared for martyrdom". The Independent. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  147. ^ "Hardline Hamas leader killed in air strike on Gaza home". The Telegraph. January 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  148. ^ "Hamas leader, 20 Palestinians killed in IAF strikes". Ynet. 2009-01-09.,7340,L-3648848,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  149. ^ Kershner, Isabel; Taghreed El Khodary (2009-01-02). "As bombing continues, Israel allows some foreigners to leave Gaza". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  150. ^ a b c "IDF phones Gaza residents to warn them of imminent strikes". Haaretz. January 2, 2009. 
  151. ^ a b c "Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery". The NY Times. January 10, 2009. 
  152. ^ "We are not all Hamas now". Times. January 11, 2009. 
  153. ^ Kurz, Anat N.; Emily B. Landau (2009-01-04). "A response to a Euro-Mediterranean appeal". (The Jerusalem Post). Retrieved 2009-01-10.  Archived version 2009-01-29
  154. ^ Harel, Amos; Yoav Stern (2009-01-04). "IDF targets senior Hamas figures". (Haaretz). Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  155. ^ a b "Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report - January 2, 2009 as of 14:30". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-02. Archived from the original on 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  156. ^
  157. ^ Donald Macintyre and Kim Sengupta (January 15, 2009). "Civilian casualties: Human rights groups accuse Israelis of war crimes". 
  158. ^ "Situation Report From The Humanitarian Coordinator - January 7, 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-07. Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  159. ^
  160. ^ (In Hebrew)
  161. ^ a b Opall-Rome, Barbara (2009-05-11). "Gaza War Is Battle Lab for Joint Combat Ops". DefenceNews. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  162. ^ Human Rights Watch accuses Israel over Gaza drones,Reuters, 30 June 2009
  163. ^
  164. ^
  165. ^
  166. ^ "Israel reinforces troops, ground offensive possible". China Daily. December 28, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  167. ^,7340,L-3646961,00.html
  168. ^ "War On Gaza Day 17" (in Arabic). Al Jazeera. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  169. ^ "Hamas threatens 'black destiny' if Israeli soldiers enter Gaza". Daily Telegraph. 03-01-2009. 
  170. ^ "Israel continues Gaza assault". Al Jazeera. 03-01-2009. 
  171. ^ "Israel rolls its tanks into Gaza to storm Hamas rocket bases". Dailymail. 04-01-2009. 
  172. ^ Harel, Amos; Yoav Stern and Yanir Yagana (January 3, 2009). "Israel launches a ground operation in the Gaza Strip". Jerusalem, IL: Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  173. ^ Greenberg, Hanan (2009-01-03). "IDF enters Gaza; dozens of terrorists hurt".,7340,L-3649729,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  174. ^ Israeli ground troops enter Gaza, Al Jazeera English. 2009-01-04
  175. ^ IDF soldier killed, another seriously wounded in Gaza ground operation, Haaretz, 2009-01-04
  176. ^,7340,L-3650496,00.html
  177. ^ McCarthy, Rory (2009-01-05). "Thousands flee guns and shells as Israel tightens grip on Gaza". 
  178. ^ "Israel presses on with Gaza attack". Reuters. 2009-01-05. 
  179. ^ Israeli troops and Hamas fighters clash in Gaza City 2009-01-05.
  180. ^
  181. ^ Opall-Rome, Barbara (2009-03-23). "Adapting Artillery to Urban War". DefenceNews. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  182. ^,7340,L-3651124,00.html
  183. ^ ”Israel attacked Gaza-bound arms convoy 3 times,” Staff, The Jerusalem Post, 27 March 2009,,
  184. ^ ,”’Time’ reveals details of Sudan strike,” Staff, The Jerusalem Post, 13 March 2009, ,
  185. ^
  186. ^ Haaretz - IDF: Hamas men beginning to desert; army steps up Gaza op.
  187. ^ Yahoo!News
  188. ^
  189. ^
  190. ^ "War On Gaza Day 18" (in Arabic). Al-Jazeera. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  191. ^ Greenberg, Hanan (2009-01-12). "IDF incorporates reservists in Gaza op".,7340,L-3654454,00.html. 
  192. ^ Reuters - Israeli forces squeeze Gaza
  193. ^
  194. ^ (As provided by the Official YouTube channel of Israeli Television
  195. ^ Haaretz IDF officer critically hurt in Gaza; 6 other soldiers also wounded By Anshel Pfeffer
  196. ^ Issacharoff, Avi; Amos Harel, Amira Haas, Yanir Yagna (2001-01-16). "Palestinian sources: 'Iran unit' of Hamas has been destroyed". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  197. ^
  198. ^
  199. ^
  200. ^ 'A necessary operation', JPost, August 4, 2009]
  201. ^ Macintrye, Donald (February 4, 2010). "Israeli commander: 'We rewrote rules of war for Gaza conflict'". The Belfast Telegraph (Jerusalem). Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  202. ^ Bronner, Ethan (January 16, 2009). "Israel Lets Reporters See Devastated Gaza Site and Image of a Confident Militrary". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  203. ^ "Gaza White Phosphorous". Al Jazeera. 2009-01-11. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  204. ^ a b [2]
  205. ^ a b c "Israel admits using white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza" The Times January 24, 2009.
  206. ^ a b c Israel reprimands top officers over UN compound strike, BBC, February 1, 2010
  207. ^ "The Incendiary IDF" The Israel Defense Forces use phosphorous shells--and forfeit credibility. HRW report. 22nd January 2009.
  208. ^ "Israel denies banned weapons use" BBC 11th January 2009.
  209. ^ 'IDF white phosphorus use not illegal'
  210. ^ a b Goldstone report, Goldstone report, UNHRC, para. 49
  211. ^ a b Israel used new type of weapon in Gaza, Haaretz, January 20, 2009
  212. ^ Tungsten-Alloy Shrapnel Causes Tumors, Cancer in Rats Environmental Health Perspectives Website 2005-02-16 Retrieved 2010-02-24
  213. ^ Depleted uranium ammo may be replaced New Scientist Website 2005-02-26 Retrieved 2010-02-24
  214. ^
  215. ^ BBC: Israel troops admit Gaza abuses
  216. ^ Times on Line Israeli soldiers admit to deliberate killing of Gaza civilians by James Hider
  217. ^ a b "Israel Disputes Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Abuses". The NY Times. March 27, 2009. 
  218. ^ "Israel IDF soldiers rebut claims of immoral conduct in Gaza". Ynet. March 19, 2009.,7340,L-3689388,00.html. 
  219. ^ a b "Gaza offensive: Israeli military says no war crimes committed". Guardian. March 31, 2009. 
  220. ^ a b Europeans funding 'Breaking the Silence', Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2009
  221. ^ Soldiers' Testimonies from Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2009, Breaking the Silence, 2009-07-15
  222. ^ Na'aman, Oded (2009-07-17). "Israel needs the truth about Cast Lead". Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  223. ^ Barak: Criticism of IDF should be directed at me, Haaretz, July 15, 2009
  224. ^ "Breaking silence on Gaza abuses". BBC. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  225. ^ IDF soldiers give testimonies to counter Gaza war crimes claims, Haaretz, July 16, 2009
  226. ^ 'Breaking the Silence' vs. 'Soldiers Speak Out' on Cast Lead, Arutz 7, July 23, 2009
  227. ^ a b IDF downplays action against officers, Haaretz, February 3, 2010
  228. ^ a b GAZA OPERATION INVESTIGATIONS: AN UPDATE, IMFA, para. 100, page 29
  229. ^ "Press conference by humanitarian, human rights organizations on gaza". United Nations. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  230. ^ a b Sonja Pace. "Israel Opens Up Humanitarian Corridors in Gaza as Fighting Continues". 
  231. ^ "Israel resumes Gaza raid after lull". 
  232. ^ "Israel Declares Short 'Recess' In Gaza Fighting". 2009-01-07. 
  233. ^ CNN Exchange of fire mars 3-hour truce in Gaza, January 7, 2009
  234. ^ Reuters (January 7, 2009). "Clashes resume in Gaza City after 3-hour humanitarian truce". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  235. ^ Barzak, Ibrahim; Matti Friedman (January 7, 2009). "Israel halts campaign for 3 hours to let in aid". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. 
  236. ^ Final Report - Independent fact-finding mission into violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip during the period 27.12.2008 – 18.01.2009, p10, p60 PHR-Israel and PMRS, April 2009
  237. ^ Abdul-Hadee Aoukal (January 15, 2009). "Al Quds Brigade: Urban Battle yet to Begin". Asharq al-Awsat. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  238. ^
  239. ^ Tim Butcher, Israeli soldiers shocked by tunnel network, 14-01-2009
  240. ^ The Times online, Jan 12, 2009 [3]
  241. ^ IDF: Hamas built underground city, YNET, January 7, 2009
  242. ^ Ethan Bronner, Israel Lets Reporters See Devastated Gaza Site and Image of a Confident Military, New York Times 16-01-2009
  243. ^ Yaakov Katz, Hamas use of children was 'monstrous', Jerusalem Post 22-01-2009
  244. ^
  245. ^ Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009, p. 454.
  246. ^ Yaakov Katz, Hamas threw 'medicine grenades' at IDF. Jerusalem Post 13-02-2009
  247. ^ Khaled Abu Toameh, "Hamas: We're using PA arms to battle IDF", Jerusalem Post 04-01-2009
  248. ^ a b "Maximum 600 Palestinians died in Gaza". Jerusalem Post. 2009-01-22. 
  249. ^ "Gaza doctor refutes casualties reported in Cast Lead op". Haaretz. 2009-01-25. 
  250. ^ Amos Harel (2009-01-28). "Hamas captives tell Shin Bet: We used Gaza mosques to hide arms, for training". Haaretz. 
  251. ^ Celebrated Iraq war veteran's view of the Gaza conflict BBC News, January 20, 2010, 6:16-6:58 segment
  252. ^
  253. ^ "FACTBOX-Hamas's arsenal of rockets", Reuters 06-01-2009
  254. ^
  255. ^ Amy Teibel; Ian Deitch (January 13, 2009). "Despite Gaza toll, Israeli media focus on Israel". Associated Press (Cleveland, Ohio: The Plain Dealer (newspaper)). Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  256. ^ Yair Yanga, "Shin Bet: Some 565 rockets, 200 mortar shells fired at Israel since start of Gaza op", Ha'aretz 13-01-2009
  257. ^ Ethan Bronner, Parsing Gains of Gaza War, New York Times 18-01-2009
  258. ^ Khaled Abu Toameh (2009-01-19). "Al-Aksa Brigades: We also fought IDF in Gaza". (Jerusalem Post). Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  259. ^ a b "Terrorists fire 18 rockets at Israel". 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  260. ^ "Israel strikes back against Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza". Israeli MFA. 21 Jan 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  261. ^ Rockets reach Beersheba, cause damage, YNET, December 30, 2008.
  262. ^ Rocket lands near Ashdod kindergarten; no injuries, YNET, January 11, 2009.
  263. ^
  264. ^
  265. ^ Rockets from Lebanon:
  266. ^ "Gaza's tunnels, traps and martyrs". Times. 2009-01-12. 
  267. ^ "Cracks in Hamas". Jerusalem Post. 2009-01-18. 
  268. ^ "Hamas Aims To Look Sharp". Strategy Page. 2009-04-27. 
  269. ^ In Gaza, Hamas Struggles To Restore Order, AP, January 19, 2009
  270. ^ Battered by Israel, Hamas faces tough choice, LA Times, January 12, 2009
  271. ^ a b [4], pp. 146, 283.
  272. ^ Warnings Not Enough for Gaza Families, January 5, 2009
  273. ^ "Warnings Not Enough for Gaza Families". New York Times. January 5, 2009. 
  274. ^ a b Katz, Yaakov (2009-04-22). "'Haniyeh hid in hospital during Gaza op'". JPost. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  275. ^ "Hamas tried to hijack ambulances during Gaza war". SMH. 2009-01-29. 
  276. ^ "Weighing Crimes and Ethics in the Fog of Urban Warfare". The NY Times. 2009-01-16. 
  277. ^ No Early End Seen to ‘All-Out War’ on Hamas in Gaza NY Times, December 29, 2008
  278. ^ PA Health Ministry: Hamas using hospitals as detention centers. Ma'an, February 7, 2009
  279. ^ 'Haniyeh hid in hospital during Gaza op', JPost, April 22, 2009]
  280. ^ "Amnesty accuses Israel of reckless use of weapons". JPost. 2009-02-02. 
  281. ^ Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009, p. 144.
  282. ^ "Israel declares ceasefire in Gaza". BBC. January 17, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2009. 
  283. ^ a b Haaretz, Analysis/ Israel declares victory in Gaza, but at what cost? By Aluf Benn, January 18, 2009, [5]
  284. ^ Jpost
  285. ^ Nidal al-Mughrabi (January 17, 2009). ""Israel plans ceasefire, Hamas vows to fight on"". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  286. ^ "Rocket fire tests Gaza ceasefire". BBC. January 18, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009. 
  287. ^ "6 rockets, 3 mortars fired from Gaza". ynetnews. January 18, 2009.,7340,L-3657876,00.html. Retrieved January 18, 2009. 
  288. ^
  289. ^ [6]
  290. ^ Haaretz, January 18, 2009
  291. ^ CNN January 18, 2009 [7]
  292. ^ Hamas announces ceasefire in Gaza, BBC, 2009-18-01
  293. ^
  294. ^ ""Hamas Leader Claims Remarkable Victory"". CBS News. 2009-01-22. 
  295. ^
  296. ^
  297. ^ "'Five rockets' fired into Israel". BBC. February 28, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2009. 
  298. ^ a b c Kershner, Isabel and Ethan Bronner. "U.S. Envoy Urges Cease-Fire After Gaza Violence." The New York Times, January 28, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-28.
  299. ^ a b Witte, Griff. "Blast at Gaza Border Kills Israeli Soldier; Palestinian Farmer Killed by Gunfire." The Washington Post, January 28, 2009. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
  300. ^ "Israel puts terms on Gaza truce". BBC. February 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  301. ^
  302. ^ "Captive deal 'key to Gaza truce'". BBC. February 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  303. ^ a b David Eshel New Tactics Yield Solid Victory in Gaza Aviation Week, 11 March 2009
  304. ^ Jonathan Spyer Hamas seeks new doctrine after Gaza War failures Jerusalem Post, 10 September 2009
  305. ^ David Makovsky, Preliminary Assessment of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 23 January 2009
  306. ^ Ethan Bonner, Hamas Shifts From Rockets to Culture War New York Times, 24 July 2009
  307. ^ a b Senior Shin Bet official: Hamas completely lost Gaza war
  308. ^ a b Hamas seeks new doctrine after Gaza War failures
  309. ^ Bronner, Painful Mideast Truth: Force Trumps Diplomacy 20 October 2009,
  310. ^ Kershner Along Gaza, a Quiet (But Still Tense) Life 9 October 2009
  311. ^ Issacharoff Hamas dismisses commanders on Iran order 04/06/09
  312. ^
  313. ^ a b
  314. ^ Hamas Shifts From Rockets to Culture War, NY Times, July 23, 2009
  315. ^ News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict July 21-28, 2009, ITIC, July 2009
  316. ^ Hamas smuggling new arsenal into Gaza, Haaretz, April 22, 2009
  317. ^ a b c "Psychological Tricks to Demoralize the Enemy". Spiegel. January 16-2009.,1518,601694,00.html. 
  318. ^ a b Israel's Gaza war adds psychological operations, MSNBC, January 11, 2009
  319. ^ "Operation Cast Lead Update No 12". IITC. 
  320. ^ "Hamas leader killed in airstrike as Israelis reject ceasefire call". Times Online. 02-01-2009. 
  321. ^ a b c "Text messages and phone calls add psychological aspect to warfare in Gaza". The Guardian. 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  322. ^ a b c The unreported battle with Hamas: psychological warfare, Haaretz, Jan. 14, 2009
  323. ^ a b "Israel's Gaza war adds psychological operations". Associated Press via MSNBC. 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  324. ^ "Israel continues Gaza assault". Doha, QA: Al Jazeera. 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  325. ^ "War On Gaza Day 14" (in Arabic). Al-Jazeera. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  326. ^ a b c "B'Tselem's investigation of fatalities in Operation Cast Lead". B'Tselem. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  327. ^ Operation Cast Lead, 27 Dec. '08 to 18 Jan. '09, B'Tselem, December 27, 2009, accessed March 2, 2010
  328. ^ Associated Press (March 19, 2009). "Rights group names 1,417 Gaza war dead". Washington Times. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  329. ^ "The Dead in the course of the Israeli recent military offensive on the Gaza strip between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009". Palestinian Center for Human Rights. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  330. ^ "IDF releases Cast Lead casualty numbers". Jerusalem Post. March 28, 2009. Archived from the original on February 22, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  331. ^ "FIELD UPDATE ON GAZA FROM THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR: 3–5 February 2009, 1700 hours". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  333. ^ PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll, PCHR, March 2006, 2009
  334. ^ a b c d "Protection of Civilians Weekly Report". January 16–20, 2009. 
  335. ^ Israel refutes claims of Gaza misconduct, JPost, Aug. 10, 2009
  336. ^ "ABC News: Israeli Troops Mobilise as Gaza Assault Widens". Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  337. ^ "Gaza death toll of 765 includes Ukrainian mother, baby; nearly 100 Ukrainians evacuated". Kyiv Post. 2009-01-09. 
  338. ^ A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery
  339. ^ In Gaza, Hamas Struggles to Restore Order
  340. ^ Khaled Abu Toameh, Analysis: Trumpets of victory strike false note, JPOST, 20 January 2009
  341. ^ Counting casualties of Gaza's war, BBC News, 28 January 2009
  342. ^ OPERATION ‘CAST LEAD’: 22 DAYS OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, Amnesty International, July 2, 2009
  343. ^ Lazaroff, Tovah; Yaakov Katz (January 23, 2009). "Israel disputes Gaza death toll". JPost. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  344. ^ a b c "Breifing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-27. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  345. ^ a b c B’Tselem’s investigation of fatalities in Operation Cast Lead, B'Tselem, September 20, 2009
  346. ^ a b Inside the Ring, page 3, Washington Times, June 18, 2009
  348. ^ DAN IZENBERG, Report slams B'Tselem Cast Lead figures, JPost, 2009-09-16
  349. ^ Rights group names 1,417 Gaza war dead Washington Times, March 19, 2009
  350. ^ "PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll". Palestinian Center for Human Rights. 26 March 2009. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  351. ^ Younis, Khan. Rights Group Puts Gaza Death Toll At 1,284, CBS, February 17, 2009.
  352. ^ a b c "Israel's Gaza toll far lower than Palestinian tally". Reuters. 2009-03-26. 
  353. ^ "Casualties in Operation Cast Lead". International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. 2009-04. 
  354. ^ a b "Casualties in Operation Cast Lead: A closer look". International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. 2009-04. 
  355. ^ "War On Gaza Day 3" (in Arabic). Al-Jazeera. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  356. ^ "Israel/Gaza: Civilians must not be tagets". Human Rights Watch. 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  357. ^ . Fox News. 2009-03-26.,4670,MLIsraelPalestinians,00.html. 
  358. ^ "Mounting evidence indicates that during Operation Cast Lead members of Hamas’s internal security forces served as commanders and operatives in Hamas’s military wing". Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. 2009-03-24. 
  359. ^ Israeli intel: Hamas using police for military ops, WorldTribune, September 7, 2009
  360. ^ "Hamas hides the casualties suffered by its operatives". IITC. 
  361. ^ Goldstone report cites same Hamas witness who claims Israel distributes libido-increasing gum, UN Watch, 29 September 2009.
  363. ^
  364. ^ a b Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone', BBC News, January 19, 2009.
  365. ^ Amira Hass, 'Industrial wastelands,’ Haaretz 26/02/2009
  366. ^ UN Chief: Hamas rocket attacks are 'appalling and unacceptable' , Haaretz, 20/01/2009
  367. ^ "Satellite-based Gaza Damage Assessment Overview". United Nations Institute for Training and Research. 2009-03-10. Archived from the original on 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  368. ^ "Gaza clashes spark 'major crisis'". BCC News. 
  369. ^ Michael Slackman, 'At a Border Crossing, Drivers and Truckloads of Aid for Gaza Go Nowhereì, New York Times, January 27, 2009
  370. ^ Peter Beaumont, 'Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland,'The Observer, February 1, 2009
  371. ^ Donald Macintyre,'Gaza counts the cost – and assigns blame,' The Independent Sunday, February 1, 2009
  372. ^ a b "Field Update on Gaza From The Humanitarian Coordinator - 27–29 January 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  373. ^ "Livni: No crisis in Gaza Strip". Aljazeera English. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  374. ^
  375. ^ "Field Update On Gaza From The Humanitarian Coordinator". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-11. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  376. ^ a b "Field Update On Gaza From The Humantirian Coordinator - 19 January 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-19. Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  377. ^ a b c "Field Update on Gaza From the Humanitarian Coordinator". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-02-05. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  378. ^ "'Every Gazan has a tale of profound grief to tell'..., Security Council told". United Nations Regional Information Centre Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19. 
  379. ^ Elise Labott, U.S. to give $20 million more in humanitarian aid to Gaza CNN 26-01-2009
  380. ^ "Middle East: Israel Halts Operations To Allow Aid Shipments". Washington Post. January 7, 2009. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. 
  381. ^ "UNRWA suspends activities in Gazans after Hamas seized aid". Xinhua News. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  382. ^ "Field Update on Gaza From the Humanitarian Coordinator, 6–9 February 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-02-09. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  383. ^ a b "Field Update On Gaza From The Humanitarian Coordinator, 30 January - 2 February 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-02-02. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  384. ^ "Field Update On Gaza From The Humanitarian Coordinator - 24–26 January 2009, 1700 hours". UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  385. ^ a b "Health Situation in the Gaza Strip". World Health Organization. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 2009-02-04. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  386. ^ "Hamas denying Gaza wounded treatment in Egypt". Reuters Africa. December 28, 2008. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  387. ^ "Palestinian wounded finally pass through Egypt crossing". Associated French Press. December 30, 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. 
  388. ^ "THE HUMANITARIAN MONITOR". United Nations - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory. December 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  389. ^
  390. ^ Home Front Command issues emergency instructions, Ynet 31-12-2008
  391. ^
  392. ^ Aron Heller, "Israelis get creative in coping with rocket threat", Associated Press 31-12-2008
  393. ^ Ashkelon Empties, Trauma teams Struggle, IRIN News (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs),13-01-2009
  394. ^ Aron Heller, "School resumes in Israel despite rocket threat", Associated Press, 11-01-2009
  395. ^ IDF: Rocket that hit Beersheba school made in China. By Yael Barnovsky. Ynet News. Published December 31, 2008.
  396. ^ Abe Selig, "School closure saves lives of pupils", Jerusalem Post 31-12-2009
  397. ^ 4 troops hurt in mortar attack; Grad hits Ashkelon school. By Shmulik Hadad. Ynet News. Published January 8, 2009.
  398. ^ Some 2,700 Beersheba students to attend classes in bomb shelters, Jerusalem Post 10-01-2009
  399. ^ "Ashkelon Empties, Trauma teams Struggle", IRIN News (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs),13-01-2009
  400. ^ "Ashkelon Empties, Trauma teams Struggle", IRIN News (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs13-01-2009
  401. ^ Some Israelis go back to school as rocket fire declines. By Dina Kraft. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Published January 13, 2009.
  402. ^ Abe Selig, "Back to school for students in South", Jerusalem Post 12-01-2009
  403. ^ Fear sends Israeli hospital underground. Published December 28, 2008.
  404. ^ "Under Cover of War". HRW. April 20, 2009. 
  405. ^ "Palestinian teen accuses Israel in The Hague". September 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  406. ^ Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, UN Fact Finding Mission, September 15, 2009
  407. ^ "UN rights council endorses damning Gaza report". APF. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  408. ^ Letter to Prime Minister Haniya. Human Rights Watch, OCTOBER 20, 2009
  409. ^ Laub, Karen. Rights group faults Israel's Cast Lead crimes probe Associated Press. 7 Feb 2010
  410. ^ Human rights community to Israeli Prime Minister: Time is running out. Establish independent inquiry into Operation Cast Lead B'tselem. 26 Jan 2010
  411. ^ Bronner, Ethan (2009-01-06). "Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza". New York Times. 
  412. ^ a b "Airstrike hits media building in Gaza". Committee to Protect Journalists. January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  413. ^ "Gaza reporter on Al-Arabiya: "A rocket from here? It's here. Listen, it's here, below the building..."". 2009-01-20. 
  414. ^ "Jawwara building, with more than 20 press offices inside, hit by Israeli missiles". Ma'an News Agency. 2009-01-09. Archived from the original on 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  415. ^ Ravid, Barak (December 27, 2008). "Israel to mount emergency international PR effort in wake of Gaza campaign". Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  416. ^ Silverstein, Richard (January 9, 2009). "Hasbara spam alert". The Guardian. 
  417. ^ JONATHAN BECK (January 18, 200). "Latest hasbara weapon: 'Army of bloggers'". Jerusalem Post. 
  418. ^ Cnaan Liphshiz (19/01/2009). "Israel recruits 'army of bloggers' to combat anti-Zionist Web sites". Haaretz. 
  419. ^ "Pro-Israel media: Bloggers join media war". Yedioth Ahronoth. Ynet. 2009-01-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  420. ^
  421. ^
  422. ^ Worsnip, Patrick; Todd Eastham (December 28, 2008). "U.N. Security Council calls for end to Gaza violence". Reuters. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  423. ^ "A rush to broker peace in Gaza". 
  424. ^ Castle, Stephen; Katrin Bennhold. "Europe Sends Two Missions to Promote a Cease-Fire". New York Times. 
  425. ^ Nidal al-Mughrabi (2009-01-04). "Israeli tanks, soldiers invade Gaza Strip". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  426. ^ "White House 'behind' US volte-face on ceasefire call January 9, 2009". The Guardian. 
  427. ^
  428. ^
  429. ^
  430. ^
  431. ^
  432. ^ Major cities stage fresh protests over Gaza, AFP 11-01-2009
  433. ^ Will Rasmussen, Egypt police hold 16 Islamists after Gaza protests, Reuters 14-01-2009
  434. ^ "Saudi cleric issues fatwa urging Muslims to avenge Gaza raids". Haaretz. 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  435. ^ Suicide bombers ready to fight Israel
  436. ^ Philippe Naughton, "Gaza conflict fuels anti-Semitic attacks across Europe", Times Online 06-01-2009
  437. ^ Highest anti-Semitism rates in 2 decades, Jerusalem Post, 25-01-2009
  438. ^ Haaretz English edition on-line, July 13, 2007, "U.K.: We revoked Israel arms licenses, but it's no embargo"

External links

Involved parties

Simple English

The Gaza War was a three-week armed conflict that took place in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008–2009. It was codenamed Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka) by the Israeli government.[1]

The Gaza War is said to have begun when Israel started an air strike against the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27.[2] This was after a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas had run out and Hamas had resumed rocket attacks against Israel.[3] Israel's said its aim was to stop Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel[4] from and arms import into the territory.[5][6] Israeli forces attacked military targets, police stations and government buildings. Hamas intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against Southern Israel, reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time.[7][8][9] An Israeli ground invasion began on January 3, 2009. The war ended on January 18, when Israel first declared a unilateral(one-sided) ceasefire, followed by Hamas' announcing a one-week ceasefire twelve hours later.[10][11] Israel completed its withdrawal on January 21.[12] The conflict resulted in between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths.[13]


  1. Whitlock, Craig; Finer, Jonathan (2009-01-18). "Israelis Announce Cease-Fire In Gaza". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  2. Ben-David, Alon (January 9, 2009). "Israeli offensive seeks 'new security reality' in Gaza". Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  3. "Ilene R. Prusher, 'Hamas remains defiant despite pounding' Christian Science Monitor 13/01/2009". 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  4. TIMELINE - Israeli-Hamas violence since truce ended, Reuters 05-01-2009
  5. Bright, Arthur. Israel set to launch ‘limited operation’ in Gaza, Christian Science Monitor, December 26, 2008.
  6. Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem. "Israel rejects war crimes findings of UN Gaza inquiry | World news |". Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  7. Rockets land east of Ashdod m Ynetnews, December 28, 2008; Rockets reach Beersheba, cause damage, Ynetnews, December 30, 2008.
  9. "Another Miracle: Rocket Hits Empty Synagogue - Defense/Middle East - Israel News". Israel National News. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  10. "Hamas leader in Syria announce one-week ceasefire in Gaza". Xinhua. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  11. "Hamas agrees to 1-week ceasefire". CBC News. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  12. Hamas, Israel set independent cease-fires, CNN International; Last Israeli troops 'leave Gaza', BBC News, January 21, 2009.
  13. Al-Mughrabi, Nidal. Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza