"What went on here?" : U.S. Lawmakers Assess the Damage in Gaza

In the first congressional visit since Hamas was elected in 2006, Representative Brian Baird from Washington, Rep. Keith Ellison from Minnesota and Senator John Kerry visited Gaza yesterday.  They witnessed and reported the devastation of the population and the dire need of humanitarian assistance.  Rep.  Ellison, Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee member and the first Muslim congress member, stated that:

People, innocent children, women and non-combatants, are going without water, food and sanitation, while the things they so desperately need are sitting in trucks at the border, being denied permission to go in – Rep. Ellison.

Aid is slowed by the blockade as Palestinians rebuild.

Aid is slowed by the blockade as Palestinians rebuild.

None of the men toured the area as representatives of the Obama administration and all refused to meet with Hamas, but they opened up a dialogue between American lawmakers and Gaza residents.  Rep. Baird “wanted to witness the situation on the ground” and helped Palestinian aid workers highlight the humanitarian crisis to the BBC.  Sen. Kerry, on the other hand, emphasized the problems with Hamas leadership, while touring a bombed out American school:

…Your political leadership needs to understand that any nation that has rockets coming into it over many years, threatening its citizens, is going to respond – Sen. Kerry.

As lawmakers balance the politics of Hamas and Israeli interests, the Palestinian people are left with the shocking humanitarian devastation, 5,000 home destroyed, 1,300 lives lost, and over 5,000 injured.  More pointedly, Rep. Braid describes:

The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental needs such as water, sewer, and electricity facilities have been hit and immobilized. Relief agencies, themselves, have been heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools; of entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching. What went on here? And what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words. – Rep. Baird.

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12 thoughts on “"What went on here?" : U.S. Lawmakers Assess the Damage in Gaza

  1. Indeed, what went on there in the past month and the on-going humanitarian crisis is of shocking and of epic proportions. What is more shocking is US administration's blatant ignorance of the crisis, and even more so–the media's lack of reporting on the death of hundreds of civilians. Sen. Kerry's statement on Hamas leadership seems ridiculous given Israeli government's disproportionate response and collective punishment that resulted in so much destruction and loss of human life. It's beyond belief that US think tanks and politicians quietly watched this mess and are now condoning Israeli government's bombing of schools filled with innocent children.

    Why is that thousands of Palestinian children are killed and the world watches still but a killing of an Israeli civilian, which is equally wrongful, prompts an outcry from the international community? It's truly sad.

  2. Indeed, what went on there in the past month and the on-going humanitarian crisis is of shocking and of epic proportions. What is more shocking is US administration’s blatant ignorance of the crisis, and even more so–the media’s lack of reporting on the death of hundreds of civilians. Sen. Kerry’s statement on Hamas leadership seems ridiculous given Israeli government’s disproportionate response and collective punishment that resulted in so much destruction and loss of human life. It’s beyond belief that US think tanks and politicians quietly watched this mess and are now condoning Israeli government’s bombing of schools filled with innocent children.

    Why is that thousands of Palestinian children are killed and the world watches still but a killing of an Israeli civilian, which is equally wrongful, prompts an outcry from the international community? It’s truly sad.

  3. I am truly sorry for the damage and destruction in Gaza as a result of the Israeli attack. However, I am hearing and reading so many outcries and condenmnation of the Israelis for mounting this attack, but I didn't hear a lot of protestations when Hamas was raining down 6000 to 7000 missles, mortar fire, and other explosives on Southern Israel. Where were all the bleeding hearts then? It was a page 14 news story.
    Yes the fact that civilians, yes, including children, were killed in the Israelis response to years of shelling from Hamas is deplorable. But do not blame the Israelis for this carnage. Blame Hamas and their use of civilian areas from which to launch their undirected missles, hiding in schools and mosques, not directing their attacks on anything in particular, just hoping to kill some Israelis, and make their lives miserable.
    If Hamas doen't represent the majority of Palestinians in Gaza, why don't the reasonable people kick them out and stop the bombardment from both sides?
    No, they elected Hamas, so apparently they approve of what Hamas's program is. How long would the United states, or any European country do nothing in response to years of aimless shelling of their people?
    So don't weep for the poor civilians killed, they are a prized propaganda source for Hamas.

  4. I am truly sorry for the damage and destruction in Gaza as a result of the Israeli attack. However, I am hearing and reading so many outcries and condenmnation of the Israelis for mounting this attack, but I didn’t hear a lot of protestations when Hamas was raining down 6000 to 7000 missles, mortar fire, and other explosives on Southern Israel. Where were all the bleeding hearts then? It was a page 14 news story.
    Yes the fact that civilians, yes, including children, were killed in the Israelis response to years of shelling from Hamas is deplorable. But do not blame the Israelis for this carnage. Blame Hamas and their use of civilian areas from which to launch their undirected missles, hiding in schools and mosques, not directing their attacks on anything in particular, just hoping to kill some Israelis, and make their lives miserable.
    If Hamas doen’t represent the majority of Palestinians in Gaza, why don’t the reasonable people kick them out and stop the bombardment from both sides?
    No, they elected Hamas, so apparently they approve of what Hamas’s program is. How long would the United states, or any European country do nothing in response to years of aimless shelling of their people?
    So don’t weep for the poor civilians killed, they are a prized propaganda source for Hamas.

  5. If you would like to see the numbers of Hamas mortar and rocket fire over 2008, check http://www.israelpolitik.org/wp-content/uploads/2…. This may show a little more vividly the disproportionate response of the recent conflict. It is also important to consider Hamas' actions in their context, just as you argue that we should consider Israel's response in it's context. This in no way condones any human rights violation.

    I am not looking for who to blame, but who is accountable. Hamas is, of course, accountable for war crimes in their indiscriminate use of weapons. However, Israel is also accountable for a disproportionate use of force and their own indiscriminate use of weapons (for more information, see our latest blog entry on the subject).

  6. If you would like to see the numbers of Hamas mortar and rocket fire over 2008, check http://www.israelpolitik.org/wp-content/uploads/2…. This may show a little more vividly the disproportionate response of the recent conflict. It is also important to consider Hamas' actions in their context, just as you argue that we should consider Israel's response in it's context. This in no way condones any human rights violation.

    I am not looking for who to blame, but who is accountable. Hamas is, of course, accountable for war crimes in their indiscriminate use of weapons. However, Israel is also accountable for a disproportionate use of force and their own indiscriminate use of weapons (for more information, see our latest blog entry on the subject).

  7. If you would like to see the numbers of Hamas mortar and rocket fire over 2008, check http://www.israelpolitik.org/wp-content/uploads/2…. This may show a little more vividly the disproportionate response of the recent conflict. It is also important to consider Hamas' actions in their context, just as you argue that we should consider Israel's response in it's context. This in no way condones any human rights violation.

    I am not looking for who to blame, but who is accountable. Hamas is, of course, accountable for war crimes in their indiscriminate use of weapons. However, Israel is also accountable for a disproportionate use of force and their own indiscriminate use of weapons (for more information, see our latest blog entry on the subject).

  8. If you would like to see the numbers of Hamas mortar and rocket fire over 2008, check http://www.israelpolitik.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/gaza_fact_sheet.pdf. This may show a little more vividly the disproportionate response of the recent conflict. It is also important to consider Hamas’ actions in their context, just as you argue that we should consider Israel’s response in it’s context. This in no way condones any human rights violation.

    I am not looking for who to blame, but who is accountable. Hamas is, of course, accountable for war crimes in their indiscriminate use of weapons. However, Israel is also accountable for a disproportionate use of force and their own indiscriminate use of weapons (for more information, see our latest blog entry on the subject).

  9. Stupid Amnesty. Report the silly amount of rockets fired but without their context.
    http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualt

    Look at the deaths caused by Israel and the correlation between rocket fire.

    Honestly I expect better from AI.

    June 30 – Rocket hit identified near Kibbutz Mefalsim
    July 3 – Rocket hit identified in an open field north of Sderot
    July 6 – Sniper opened fire on farmers working in the fields of Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 7 – Mortar shell fired near the Karni crossing
    July 8 – Mortar shell landed in an open field in the Eshkol regional council district (northwestern Negev)
    July 10 – Two rockets landed in an open field near Kibbutz Gevim. Two mortar shell hits were identified about three kilometers (1.9 miles) southwest of the Sufa crossing and another west of the village of Holit
    July 12 – A rocket exploded in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council district in the northwestern Negev
    July 13 – Two mortar shells exploded on the Gaza side of the security fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 15 – Mortar shell landing detected
    Aug 6 – A rocket hit was identified near Kissufim.
    Aug 9 – A rocket hit was identified in an open field in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area.
    Aug 11 – A rocket hit was identified near a residential area in Sderot
    Aug 15 – A rocket hit was identified near Gevaram near Ashqelon
    Aug 17 – A rocket hit was identified near Re'im in the western Negev
    Aug 19 – A rocket hit was identified near Nir Am in the western Negev.
    Aug 25 – A rocket hit was identified near a community in the western Negev. Several hours later, another rocket hit was identified nearby.
    Sept 16 – A rocket hit was identified in a building site about 50 meters from a residential area in Sderot, causing a fire. One resident was treated for shock.
    Sept 21 – Israeli security forces detained a terrorist sent by Hamas to infiltrate into Israel through the Egyptian border, abduct IDF soldiers and transfer them to the Gaza Strip to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
    Sept 30 – One mortar shell was fired during Rosh Hashanah, which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
    Oct 21 – A rocket was fired at the western Negev.
    Oct 31 – Terrorists tried to lay an explosive device near the security fence north of the Sufa crossing. IDF soldiers approached the terrorists, who fired two anti-tank missiles at them. The force returned their fire and the terrorists escaped.
    *********On the basis of intelligence information, on the night of November 4 an IDF force entered the Gaza Strip to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas to be carried out through a tunnel under the security fence, about 250 meters inside Gazan territory. When the operation was over the IDF forces left the Gaza Strip. Six IDF soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously. During the action seven Hamas terrorist operatives were killed and number of operatives were wounded.
    The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, reacted immediately by launching several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev population centers, in gross violation of the calm arrangement. Between November 4 and 12 sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire continued, with a total of 91 rockets and 38 mortar shells fired. Three landed in the Ashkelon region, one in the center of a residential area; three women were treated for shock. One rocket fell in an Israeli village and caused damage to a greenhouse.
    In response to the death of four operatives during the prevention of the IED attack on November 12 (armed terrorists in the process of laying an explosive device near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip), the Palestinian terrorist organizations initiated a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire.
    Nov 12 – Five rockets and eight mortar shells were launched at Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip and at IDF forces.
    Nov 13 – Five rockets and three mortar shell were fired at Israeli population centers and IDF forces.
    Nov 14 – In the morning hours the Israeli Air Force attacked a terrorist squad on its way to fire rockets, wounding a number of Hamas operatives. In response, 17 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages. Four longer-range standard Grad 122mm missiles were fired at Ashkelon , one landing in the center of the city. Earlier, a rocket hit a residential dwelling. In addition, seven mortar shells were fired.
    Nov 15 – One rocket and two mortar shells were fired at Israeli population centers and at IDF forces.
    Nov 16 – The Israeli Air Force attacked a Popular Resistance Committees squad on its way to launch missiles near the Nahal Oz crossing. Four terrorist operatives were killed. During the day five rockets were fired, one of which hit a house in Sderot and slightly wounded a resident.
    Nov 17 – 13 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages during the day.
    Nov 18 – Rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel territory during the afternoon.
    At noon on Friday, November 28, 2008, an IDF force identified terrorists laying an explosive device near the Gaza Strip border security fence in the region of Abasan, near Khan Yunis. A firefight developed, resulting in the death of one terrorist and the wounding of four others. In rapid response, the Palestinian terrorist organizations launched a massive barrage of 17 mortar shells directed at the Nahal Oz area. One rocket was also fired, which landed in an open area. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the fire along with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations, such as the PRC. One of the mortar shells – a standard 120mm , apparently manufactured in Iran and smuggled into the Gaza Strip – hit an IDF base in the Nahal Oz region, wounding eight soldiers, one of them critically.

  10. Stupid Amnesty. Report the silly amount of rockets fired but without their context.
    http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualt

    Look at the deaths caused by Israel and the correlation between rocket fire.

    Honestly I expect better from AI.

    June 30 – Rocket hit identified near Kibbutz Mefalsim
    July 3 – Rocket hit identified in an open field north of Sderot
    July 6 – Sniper opened fire on farmers working in the fields of Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 7 – Mortar shell fired near the Karni crossing
    July 8 – Mortar shell landed in an open field in the Eshkol regional council district (northwestern Negev)
    July 10 – Two rockets landed in an open field near Kibbutz Gevim. Two mortar shell hits were identified about three kilometers (1.9 miles) southwest of the Sufa crossing and another west of the village of Holit
    July 12 – A rocket exploded in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council district in the northwestern Negev
    July 13 – Two mortar shells exploded on the Gaza side of the security fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 15 – Mortar shell landing detected
    Aug 6 – A rocket hit was identified near Kissufim.
    Aug 9 – A rocket hit was identified in an open field in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area.
    Aug 11 – A rocket hit was identified near a residential area in Sderot
    Aug 15 – A rocket hit was identified near Gevaram near Ashqelon
    Aug 17 – A rocket hit was identified near Re'im in the western Negev
    Aug 19 – A rocket hit was identified near Nir Am in the western Negev.
    Aug 25 – A rocket hit was identified near a community in the western Negev. Several hours later, another rocket hit was identified nearby.
    Sept 16 – A rocket hit was identified in a building site about 50 meters from a residential area in Sderot, causing a fire. One resident was treated for shock.
    Sept 21 – Israeli security forces detained a terrorist sent by Hamas to infiltrate into Israel through the Egyptian border, abduct IDF soldiers and transfer them to the Gaza Strip to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
    Sept 30 – One mortar shell was fired during Rosh Hashanah, which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
    Oct 21 – A rocket was fired at the western Negev.
    Oct 31 – Terrorists tried to lay an explosive device near the security fence north of the Sufa crossing. IDF soldiers approached the terrorists, who fired two anti-tank missiles at them. The force returned their fire and the terrorists escaped.
    *********On the basis of intelligence information, on the night of November 4 an IDF force entered the Gaza Strip to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas to be carried out through a tunnel under the security fence, about 250 meters inside Gazan territory. When the operation was over the IDF forces left the Gaza Strip. Six IDF soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously. During the action seven Hamas terrorist operatives were killed and number of operatives were wounded.
    The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, reacted immediately by launching several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev population centers, in gross violation of the calm arrangement. Between November 4 and 12 sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire continued, with a total of 91 rockets and 38 mortar shells fired. Three landed in the Ashkelon region, one in the center of a residential area; three women were treated for shock. One rocket fell in an Israeli village and caused damage to a greenhouse.
    In response to the death of four operatives during the prevention of the IED attack on November 12 (armed terrorists in the process of laying an explosive device near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip), the Palestinian terrorist organizations initiated a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire.
    Nov 12 – Five rockets and eight mortar shells were launched at Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip and at IDF forces.
    Nov 13 – Five rockets and three mortar shell were fired at Israeli population centers and IDF forces.
    Nov 14 – In the morning hours the Israeli Air Force attacked a terrorist squad on its way to fire rockets, wounding a number of Hamas operatives. In response, 17 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages. Four longer-range standard Grad 122mm missiles were fired at Ashkelon , one landing in the center of the city. Earlier, a rocket hit a residential dwelling. In addition, seven mortar shells were fired.
    Nov 15 – One rocket and two mortar shells were fired at Israeli population centers and at IDF forces.
    Nov 16 – The Israeli Air Force attacked a Popular Resistance Committees squad on its way to launch missiles near the Nahal Oz crossing. Four terrorist operatives were killed. During the day five rockets were fired, one of which hit a house in Sderot and slightly wounded a resident.
    Nov 17 – 13 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages during the day.
    Nov 18 – Rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel territory during the afternoon.
    At noon on Friday, November 28, 2008, an IDF force identified terrorists laying an explosive device near the Gaza Strip border security fence in the region of Abasan, near Khan Yunis. A firefight developed, resulting in the death of one terrorist and the wounding of four others. In rapid response, the Palestinian terrorist organizations launched a massive barrage of 17 mortar shells directed at the Nahal Oz area. One rocket was also fired, which landed in an open area. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the fire along with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations, such as the PRC. One of the mortar shells – a standard 120mm , apparently manufactured in Iran and smuggled into the Gaza Strip – hit an IDF base in the Nahal Oz region, wounding eight soldiers, one of them critically.

  11. Stupid Amnesty. Report the silly amount of rockets fired but without their context.
    http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualt

    Look at the deaths caused by Israel and the correlation between rocket fire.

    Honestly I expect better from AI.

    June 30 – Rocket hit identified near Kibbutz Mefalsim
    July 3 – Rocket hit identified in an open field north of Sderot
    July 6 – Sniper opened fire on farmers working in the fields of Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 7 – Mortar shell fired near the Karni crossing
    July 8 – Mortar shell landed in an open field in the Eshkol regional council district (northwestern Negev)
    July 10 – Two rockets landed in an open field near Kibbutz Gevim. Two mortar shell hits were identified about three kilometers (1.9 miles) southwest of the Sufa crossing and another west of the village of Holit
    July 12 – A rocket exploded in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council district in the northwestern Negev
    July 13 – Two mortar shells exploded on the Gaza side of the security fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 15 – Mortar shell landing detected
    Aug 6 – A rocket hit was identified near Kissufim.
    Aug 9 – A rocket hit was identified in an open field in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area.
    Aug 11 – A rocket hit was identified near a residential area in Sderot
    Aug 15 – A rocket hit was identified near Gevaram near Ashqelon
    Aug 17 – A rocket hit was identified near Re'im in the western Negev
    Aug 19 – A rocket hit was identified near Nir Am in the western Negev.
    Aug 25 – A rocket hit was identified near a community in the western Negev. Several hours later, another rocket hit was identified nearby.
    Sept 16 – A rocket hit was identified in a building site about 50 meters from a residential area in Sderot, causing a fire. One resident was treated for shock.
    Sept 21 – Israeli security forces detained a terrorist sent by Hamas to infiltrate into Israel through the Egyptian border, abduct IDF soldiers and transfer them to the Gaza Strip to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
    Sept 30 – One mortar shell was fired during Rosh Hashanah, which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
    Oct 21 – A rocket was fired at the western Negev.
    Oct 31 – Terrorists tried to lay an explosive device near the security fence north of the Sufa crossing. IDF soldiers approached the terrorists, who fired two anti-tank missiles at them. The force returned their fire and the terrorists escaped.
    *********On the basis of intelligence information, on the night of November 4 an IDF force entered the Gaza Strip to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas to be carried out through a tunnel under the security fence, about 250 meters inside Gazan territory. When the operation was over the IDF forces left the Gaza Strip. Six IDF soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously. During the action seven Hamas terrorist operatives were killed and number of operatives were wounded.
    The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, reacted immediately by launching several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev population centers, in gross violation of the calm arrangement. Between November 4 and 12 sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire continued, with a total of 91 rockets and 38 mortar shells fired. Three landed in the Ashkelon region, one in the center of a residential area; three women were treated for shock. One rocket fell in an Israeli village and caused damage to a greenhouse.
    In response to the death of four operatives during the prevention of the IED attack on November 12 (armed terrorists in the process of laying an explosive device near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip), the Palestinian terrorist organizations initiated a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire.
    Nov 12 – Five rockets and eight mortar shells were launched at Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip and at IDF forces.
    Nov 13 – Five rockets and three mortar shell were fired at Israeli population centers and IDF forces.
    Nov 14 – In the morning hours the Israeli Air Force attacked a terrorist squad on its way to fire rockets, wounding a number of Hamas operatives. In response, 17 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages. Four longer-range standard Grad 122mm missiles were fired at Ashkelon , one landing in the center of the city. Earlier, a rocket hit a residential dwelling. In addition, seven mortar shells were fired.
    Nov 15 – One rocket and two mortar shells were fired at Israeli population centers and at IDF forces.
    Nov 16 – The Israeli Air Force attacked a Popular Resistance Committees squad on its way to launch missiles near the Nahal Oz crossing. Four terrorist operatives were killed. During the day five rockets were fired, one of which hit a house in Sderot and slightly wounded a resident.
    Nov 17 – 13 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages during the day.
    Nov 18 – Rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel territory during the afternoon.
    At noon on Friday, November 28, 2008, an IDF force identified terrorists laying an explosive device near the Gaza Strip border security fence in the region of Abasan, near Khan Yunis. A firefight developed, resulting in the death of one terrorist and the wounding of four others. In rapid response, the Palestinian terrorist organizations launched a massive barrage of 17 mortar shells directed at the Nahal Oz area. One rocket was also fired, which landed in an open area. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the fire along with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations, such as the PRC. One of the mortar shells – a standard 120mm , apparently manufactured in Iran and smuggled into the Gaza Strip – hit an IDF base in the Nahal Oz region, wounding eight soldiers, one of them critically.

  12. Stupid Amnesty. Report the silly amount of rockets fired but without their context.

    http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualties_Data.asp?Category=1&region=GAZA

    Look at the deaths caused by Israel and the correlation between rocket fire.

    Honestly I expect better from AI.

    June 30 – Rocket hit identified near Kibbutz Mefalsim
    July 3 – Rocket hit identified in an open field north of Sderot
    July 6 – Sniper opened fire on farmers working in the fields of Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 7 – Mortar shell fired near the Karni crossing
    July 8 – Mortar shell landed in an open field in the Eshkol regional council district (northwestern Negev)
    July 10 – Two rockets landed in an open field near Kibbutz Gevim. Two mortar shell hits were identified about three kilometers (1.9 miles) southwest of the Sufa crossing and another west of the village of Holit
    July 12 – A rocket exploded in an open area in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council district in the northwestern Negev
    July 13 – Two mortar shells exploded on the Gaza side of the security fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz
    July 15 – Mortar shell landing detected
    Aug 6 – A rocket hit was identified near Kissufim.
    Aug 9 – A rocket hit was identified in an open field in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area.
    Aug 11 – A rocket hit was identified near a residential area in Sderot
    Aug 15 – A rocket hit was identified near Gevaram near Ashqelon
    Aug 17 – A rocket hit was identified near Re’im in the western Negev
    Aug 19 – A rocket hit was identified near Nir Am in the western Negev.
    Aug 25 – A rocket hit was identified near a community in the western Negev. Several hours later, another rocket hit was identified nearby.
    Sept 16 – A rocket hit was identified in a building site about 50 meters from a residential area in Sderot, causing a fire. One resident was treated for shock.
    Sept 21 – Israeli security forces detained a terrorist sent by Hamas to infiltrate into Israel through the Egyptian border, abduct IDF soldiers and transfer them to the Gaza Strip to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
    Sept 30 – One mortar shell was fired during Rosh Hashanah, which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
    Oct 21 – A rocket was fired at the western Negev.
    Oct 31 – Terrorists tried to lay an explosive device near the security fence north of the Sufa crossing. IDF soldiers approached the terrorists, who fired two anti-tank missiles at them. The force returned their fire and the terrorists escaped.
    *********On the basis of intelligence information, on the night of November 4 an IDF force entered the Gaza Strip to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas to be carried out through a tunnel under the security fence, about 250 meters inside Gazan territory. When the operation was over the IDF forces left the Gaza Strip. Six IDF soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously. During the action seven Hamas terrorist operatives were killed and number of operatives were wounded.
    The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, reacted immediately by launching several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev population centers, in gross violation of the calm arrangement. Between November 4 and 12 sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire continued, with a total of 91 rockets and 38 mortar shells fired. Three landed in the Ashkelon region, one in the center of a residential area; three women were treated for shock. One rocket fell in an Israeli village and caused damage to a greenhouse.
    In response to the death of four operatives during the prevention of the IED attack on November 12 (armed terrorists in the process of laying an explosive device near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip), the Palestinian terrorist organizations initiated a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire.
    Nov 12 – Five rockets and eight mortar shells were launched at Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip and at IDF forces.
    Nov 13 – Five rockets and three mortar shell were fired at Israeli population centers and IDF forces.
    Nov 14 – In the morning hours the Israeli Air Force attacked a terrorist squad on its way to fire rockets, wounding a number of Hamas operatives. In response, 17 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages. Four longer-range standard Grad 122mm missiles were fired at Ashkelon , one landing in the center of the city. Earlier, a rocket hit a residential dwelling. In addition, seven mortar shells were fired.
    Nov 15 – One rocket and two mortar shells were fired at Israeli population centers and at IDF forces.
    Nov 16 – The Israeli Air Force attacked a Popular Resistance Committees squad on its way to launch missiles near the Nahal Oz crossing. Four terrorist operatives were killed. During the day five rockets were fired, one of which hit a house in Sderot and slightly wounded a resident.
    Nov 17 – 13 rockets were fired at Israeli towns and villages during the day.
    Nov 18 – Rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel territory during the afternoon.
    At noon on Friday, November 28, 2008, an IDF force identified terrorists laying an explosive device near the Gaza Strip border security fence in the region of Abasan, near Khan Yunis. A firefight developed, resulting in the death of one terrorist and the wounding of four others. In rapid response, the Palestinian terrorist organizations launched a massive barrage of 17 mortar shells directed at the Nahal Oz area. One rocket was also fired, which landed in an open area. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the fire along with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations, such as the PRC. One of the mortar shells – a standard 120mm , apparently manufactured in Iran and smuggled into the Gaza Strip – hit an IDF base in the Nahal Oz region, wounding eight soldiers, one of them critically.