On July 8th 2014, Israel launched an operation to stop the relentless rocket fire from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli cities and towns. The rocket fire escalated after Israel arrested Hamas leaders in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. After the initial fighting, Israel discovered an extensive tunnel system that Hamas had built to infiltrate and attack Israeli targets, and Israel expanded the operation’s aims to include destroying the intricate tunnel system.
Over the course of the fighting, 82,201 IDF reservists were called up, and there were 70 Israeli casualties. Gaza health officials said more than 2,100 people were killed in the fighting but other sources claim that these figures were inflated and that many included in these numbers were combatants. Unfortunately, many of the Gaza civilians who were killed and injured were those who were used by Hamas as “human shields.” At the end of August, a ceasefire was brokered and the fighting subsided, but how long the “quiet” will remain is anybody’s guess.
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