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.
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Legal Points – 19 Nov 2012
- Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Terrorists Use Foreign Media Facilities for Camouflage and Protection – 20 Nov 2012
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iranian weapons in Gaza – 22 Nov 2012
- INSS, In the Aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense – December 2012
- Michael Herzog, Operation Pillar of Defense (Gaza – November 2012): Objectives and Implications – 21 Jan 2013