By ELAD BENARI, ARUTZ 7—
The IDF hit more than 1,500 targets in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense, according to a statement released Wednesday night.
The statement was a summary of the counterterrorist operation, which came to an end after a ceasefire was announced on Wednesday evening.
The IDF said it achieved the goals that were set prior to the operation and dealt a severe blow to Hamas and its military capabilities.
As a result of the IDF’s strikes, said the statement, there was significant damage to Hamas’s command array, including the targeted killing of arch-terrorist Ahmed Jaabari, extensive damage to infrastructure, facilities and Hamas military bases, as well as the bombing of dozens of smuggling tunnels.
The IDF said that its airstrikes destroyed and damaged Hamas’s strategic capabilities, including long-range rockets and hundreds of medium-range and short-range rockets. Consequently, Hamas’s launching capabilities were significantly disrupted.
Over the course of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF targeted 19 senior command centers, operational control centers and Hamas’ senior-rank headquarters, 30 senior operatives, 140 smuggling tunnels, 66 terror tunnels, dozens of Hamas operation rooms and bases, and 26 weapon manufacturing and storage facilities.
In total, 1,506 rockets were fired at Israel during Pillar of Defense, of which 875 exploded in open spaces and 58 exploded in populated areas. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted 421 rockets, with a success rate of 84%.
Five Israelis, including four civilians and one soldier, were killed during the days of the operation and 240 people were wounded.
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman held a joint news conference announcing the ceasefire.
Hamas celebrated the ceasefire and claimed “victory” over Israel. The terror group’s chief Khaled Mashaal announced in a press conference Wednesday evening that Israel “has failed in all its goals” in Operation Defensive Pillar, following the cease fire announcement.
The terror group marked the ceasefire by firing 20 rockets at southern Israel between 9:00 p.m. and midnight Wednesday evening.