Gaza – Operation Pillar of Defense – 2012


Operation Pillar of Defense was motivated by the significant increase in the amount of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip from 2010 on; the frequent rounds of escalation in rocket fire resulting from the terrorist activity of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations; and the shortening of the lulls between the rounds of escalation during the six months prior to the operation.  In a five-day period, between November 10 and 14, 2012, over 120 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.  Before that, on 24 Oct 2012, a barrage of 77 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel from Gaza.

The rocket fire, which disrupted the lives of more than one million Israelis living in the country’s south, was frequently accompanied by attacks on Israeli soldiers carrying out counterterrorism activities near the security fence along the Gaza Strip border. In addition, networks in the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, interconnected and affiliated with the global jihad, became more daring, and turned the Sinai Peninsula into a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Israel.

Israel’s primary goal in undertaking this operation, which lasted eight days, was deterrence.  However, it brought quiet to the citizens of Israel only for a short time.

[About Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad]


Timeline of Events

14 Nov 2012
Israel Begins Military Operation
15 and 16 Nov 2012
Resolutions in Support of Israel

The United States Senate and House of Representatives pass resolutions supporting Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.

21 Nov 2012
Ceasefire Declared

At 21:00 on November 21 a ceasefire understanding went into effect between Israel and Hamas, and the other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The understandings were brokered by Egypt with American intervention.  Until 23:00 sporadic rocket fire continued into Israeli territory (an estimated ten hits).  The ceasefire held after that.

4 Jul 2013
The UN High Commissioner Reports on the Conflict
  • Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1 – A/HRC/22/35
  • Addendum to the Report – A/HRC/22/35/Add.1

Additional Resources