Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – 2014

BackgroundThe quiet after the November 2012 ceasefire ending Operation Pillar of Defense, did not last long.

  • In 2013, Hamas and other terrorist organizations fired 41 rockets and mortars at Israel from Gaza. 
  • The attacks intensified in 2014. 
    • More than 80 rockets and mortars were fired in March. 
    • Between June 12 and July 7, approximately 300 rockets and mortars were indiscriminately fired at Israeli cities and towns, targeting Israeli civilians.
  • Hamas continued to increase its military weaponry, having acquired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars by summer 2014. It also assembled thousands of IEDs and developed other military weaponry.
  • Hamas worked to expand its underground cross-border tunnel network for the purpose of terrorist infiltration into Israel.
  • On June 12, Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli youths in Judea, seeking through this and other forms of incitement to ignite a new intifada (“uprising”).
  • The rocket attacks from Gaza in June and early July, 2014, reached distances as far as 100 kilometers and placed over 5,000,000 Israelis within the range of fire.

Despite the intensified rocket and mortar fire, as well as tunnel infiltrations, Israel made clear to Hamas that it wanted to de-escalate the conflict. Israel repeatedly appealed to the U.N. and welcomed Egyptian and other actors’ attempts to bring about a ceasefire. These efforts failed. On the day before Israel commenced its operation, fully 60 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza. Israel had no choice but to defend itself against an untenable threat to its population from Hamas’s rocket and tunnel assaults.

[About Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad]


Timeline of Events

8 Jul 2014
Operation Protective Edge Begins

Israel begins Operation Protective Edge after incessant barrage of rockets from Gaza.

17 Jul 2014
Israeli Forces Enter Gaza on the Ground

Due to Hamas’s continued rejection of ceasefire initiatives, ongoing rocket and mortar fire, and attacks in Israeli territory by sea and through cross-border assault tunnels, entry of Israeli ground forces into a limited area of the Gaza Strip was authorized by the government. These ground forces were charged with identifying and neutralizing the cross-border assault tunnels, which originated from the outskirts of the urban areas of the Gaza Strip. The ground forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip on August 5, after locating and neutralizing 32 cross-border assault tunnels, and despite ongoing rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.

23 Jul 2014
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution

The UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution S-21/1, establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the situation in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, “in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after…” 

26 Aug 2014
Ceasefire Declared

On Tuesday evening, August 26, the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced an unconditional ceasefire that would be unlimited in time. Israel agreed to the proposal and the ceasefire took effect at 19:00.The August 26 ceasefire followed two earlier ones that had ended in renewed fighting.  On August 1, the United States and the United Nations announced that both sides had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, starting at 8:00. However, it quickly broke down, each side blaming the other for the failure. On August 10, an Egyptian proposal for another 72-hour ceasefire was accepted, and on August 13, was extended for another 120 hours.  This ceasefire also collapsed — on August 19, just after a further 24 hour extension had been agreed upon.  The fighting finally ended when the August 26 ceasefire took effect.

September 2014 to August 2018
Investigations by the IDF Military Advocate General
16 Jan 2015 to present
International Criminal Court Proceeding

A preliminary examination into the “Palestine situation” was commenced by the Court’s Prosecutor on 16 Jan 2015.  That proceeding as of early 2021 is at the investigative stage

May 2015
24 Jun 2015
UNHCR Commission Releases Report

Report, A/HRC/29/52, 24 Jun 2015
Detailed findings of the report, A/HRC/29/CRP.4, 24 Jun 2015

Reponses and Critical Analysis of the Report:

Additional Resoures