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Israel Defense Forces

IDF Operation Pillar of Defense - Monday, November 19 Updates

Israel Defense Forces

6:45 p.m.: A short while ago, the IDF released a video showing pilots aborting airstrikes due to uninvolved civilians in the area. Click here to watch the video and read about how the IDF takes care to avoid harming Gaza's civilians.

5:05 p.m.: A short while ago, in a joint IDF- ISA operation, the IDF targeted a hideout used by senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives, who were a part of the terror organization's rocket launching operations, in the northern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was identified.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives, who were involved in firing rockets at Israel, were inside a civilian media building when it was targeted.

This is a further example of how terror organizations cynically use those inside civilian populated institutions as human shields.

Baha Abu al-Ata, a member of the Higher Military Council, is the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Gaza City Brigade and is involved in orchestrating rocket launching and terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Al-Ata is also involved in the manufacturing of arms and firing long-range rockets at Israel.

Tissir Mahmoud Mahmedd Jabari was born in 1972 and is a resident of Sajaiya Turkman, Gaza City. Jabari is a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, a member of the Higher Military Council and Head of the organization's operation branch. Previously, Jabari was the Gaza City Regional Commander for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was involved in carrying out various terror attacks against Israel, including massive rocket fire and attacks against IDF soldiers. Jabari holds responsibility for training within the organization and gives approval for the carrying out of terror attacks.

Halil Batini is amongst the senior operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He is a key figure within the long-range rocket launching operations and responsible for internal security.

Ramaz Harab, born in 1976, resident of Shujaiyya Jadida, responsible for the propaganda in the Gaza City brigade, an aide to Tissir Jabari, formerly head of the Sheikh Rajuan Division.

1:40 p.m.: This morning, the IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai addressed the Israeli press at a briefing. He spoke of IDF activites overnight, including progress the IDF has made in reducing the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians:

"Yesterday saw a decrease of 40% in the number if rockets fired on our territory from the day before, continuing a downward trend. During the night we made 100 attacks, including the bombing of 40 smuggling tunnels between Rafah and the Sinai Desert. We bombed both the opening of the tunnels and along the course of the tunnels ensuring a long process of reconstruction.

In addition, in the last 12 hours we have struck 6 squads in the midst of launching rockets. We attacked a stadium in Gaza City after receiving verified information of a launch from within the stadium, again showing the terrorists' continued use of civilian centers. In an effort to warn the residents and innocent bystanders and keep them away from strikes, we are, at this moment, controlling the radio stations within Gaza in order to deliver these messages to the civilians."

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that most of the rockets currently being fired at Israel are being fired from within Gaza City, a densely populated area.

10:20 a.m.: Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, 546 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel. The Iron Dome system has intercepted an additional 302 rockets. Furthermore, over 100 rockets fired from Gaza have landed within the Gaza Strip, injuring their own civilians.

7:10 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 80 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including underground rocket launching sites, terror tunnels, and training bases, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating out of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF targeted buildings owned by senior terrorist operatives, used as command posts and weapon storage facilities. IAF aircraft, with the support of Israeli Navy soldiers, targeted several Hamas police headquarters throughout the Gaza Strip. The IDF also targeted several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads as they prepared to fire rockets towards Israel, including the squad responsible for firing rockets towards the community of Nahal Oz earlier this morning.

The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 1,350 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has turned the Gaza strip into a front-line base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances. The IDF is determined to continue targeting terror activity sites that are used to carry out attacks against the citizens of Israel.

1:57 a.m.: Correction: Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted 290 rockets fired from Gaza, preventing them from hitting populated areas in Israel.

1:02 a.m.: The IDF has released a video recapping the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense.

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