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Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel

Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel

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Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel

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  1. Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel SUMMARY OF AUGUST 18 EVENTS The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  2. Focal Points • On 18 August 2011, a series of terrorist attacks was perpetrated against civilians and IDF soldiers in Israel's southern region. Eight people were killed in the day’s attacks and at least thirty-one were injured. • The terrorists responsible for the attacks originated in the Gaza Strip and crossed into Israel via Egypt. • IDF forces pursued and killed a number of the terrorists responsible for the attacks. • In response to the attacks, the IAF initiated pinpoint strikes in the Gaza Strip targeting leaders of the “Popular Resistance Committees,” a terrorist organization closely related to Hamas. Four to six terrorists, including the head of the organization in the Gaza Strip, Kamal Nirab, were killed. • The attacks demonstrate the constant danger posed to Israel with a terrorist organization having de-facto authority over the Gaza Strip. • The level of sophistication and coordination apparent in these attacks demonstrates extensive planning which could only have been achieved with local assistance. • These attacks also highlight the security challenges faced by both Israel and Egypt and emphasize the need for close cooperation as terrorists exploit the Sinai Peninsula to harm the interests of both countries. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  3. Focal Points • External actors are exploiting the recent instability in Egypt to promote their radical agenda and use the Sinai Peninsula as a major smuggling route and as a means to launch terrorist attacks against Israel. • Egypt is as much a victim of these attacks and Israel expects it to continue acting determinedly within its territory to prevent terrorist activity directed against Israel, in accordance with its recent declarations to uphold the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. • The relationship between Israel and Egypt has been and remains a strategic, political and security imperative for both countries. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  4. The Attacks Near Eilat 18/08 A dozen terrorists wearing Egyptian Central Security Police (CSP) uniforms crossed into Israel through the Sinai Peninsula, deploying at several locations. 1208 • The terrorists opened fire at a public bus en route to the city of Eilat. Fourteen people were injured in the attack, nine of whom were IDF soldiers. • The terrorist squad opened fire at a second public bus (empty except for the driver) and one of the perpetrators detonated an explosive vest in a suicide attack, killing the bus driver. • The terrorists detonated explosive devices targeting two civilian vehicles, killing four occupants in one vehicle and killing one and wounding another in the other. • In total, two terrorists were killed during these attacks. 1236 Light arms fire was directed at an IDF force en route to the site of the attack. One soldier was killed and four were injured. 1254 An Israel Police SWAT team exchanged fire with a terrorist squad in the area. Five terrorists were killed. 1835 Sniper fire was directed at an Israeli Police SWAT team, kill,ing one member. 19/08 0828 One of the terrorists involved in the attacks near Eilat detonated an explosive vest in Egypt, killing two Egyptian CSP personnel. As a result of the attacks 8 people were killed and at least 31 injured. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  5. Location of the Attacks The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  6. The Gaza Strip Following the terrorist attacks near Eilat, the IAF targeted a building housing senior Popular Resistance Committees (PRC)militants responsible for carrying out the attacks. The strike killed three PRC terrorists, including the head of the organization in the Gaza Strip, Kamal Nirab, head of the military wing of the organization, Imad Hamed, and a PRC senior operative, Khaled Sha’at. Three Palestinian civilians were also killed in the attack. Since yesterday evening (18), heavy rocket and mortar fire has been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. Over 22 rockets, missiles and mortars, at least 3 of which were Grad rockets, have hit, landing in the vicinities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva and near populated areas along the Gaza Strip. At 08:11 this morning in Ashdod, one rocket hit a synagogue, injuring four people, one severely. The Iron Dome defense system successfully neutralized at least two rockets after it was determined they would hit densely populated areas. In response to yesterday’s terrorist attacks and the ongoing rocket and mortar fire, the IAF has initiated a series of pinpoint attacks against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. The targets include training facilities, weapon caches, smuggling tunnels, tunnels intended for terrorism and military outposts. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  7. Background Information The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  8. Rocket Fire from the Gaza Strip The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  9. Previous Attacks from the Sinai Peninsula • On 2 August 2010, six 122mm rockets were launched from Sinai towards Israel. Two of the rockets landed in the Red Sea, one landed in the Israeli city of Eilat (pop. 46,000), one landed on the Israeli-Jordanian border and two landed in Aqaba, Jordan (pop. 95,000). The final rocket landed in Ta'aba, near an MFO force. While no injuries were reported from the rocket landing in Eilat, a Jordanian government representative stated that four people were wounded and one was killed from a rocket that landed near the Intercontinental Hotel in Aqaba. • On 22 April 2010, two 122mm Katyusha rockets were launched from the Sinai Peninsula. One rocket landed in Aqaba and one which was later recovered by Israeli Navy divers off the coast of Eilat. No injuries were reported. • in January 2007, Muhammed Saksak blew himself up in Eilat, killing himself and three civilians. the terrorist journeyed from Gaza through the Sinai peninsula, making use of the smuggling networks to reach the port-city. The Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade later claimed responsibility for the attack. • In December 2005, three Katyusha rockets were launched by al-Qaeda activists from Aqaba towards Eilat. The rockets, which were apparently targeting a US Navy vessel near the Gulf of Aqaba, missed their target; two landed in Aqaba, killing a Jordanian soldier, and one landing near the Eilat airfield. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  10. The Israel-Egypt Border - Features The Israel-Egypt border is over 200 km long, making it Israel’s second-longest border. Securing Israel’s territorial integrity in the southern arena has three main challenges: criminal activity, terrorist activity and border infiltrations. There is an explicit connection between the criminal and terrorist activity originating in the Sinai Peninsula. Since the ouster of President Mubarak in February 2011, the Sinai Peninsula has grown increasingly chaotic. Weapon imports into the Sinai have risen dramatically, Egyptian government installations have been targeted in terrorist attacks, and the Egyptian natural-gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan has been sabotaged on multiple occasions. In January 2010, the Israeli government approved the construction of a new border fence along the international border line (IBL). Construction of the fence is coordinated with and receives prior approval from the Egyptian authorities. The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces

  11. The Egypt-Israel Border – Security Threat Infiltrations follow “U”-shaped routes from Gaza, through the Sinai Peninsula and into Israel. The entry-points into Israel are based mainly on accessibility, as the border’s rugged terrain is often difficult to cross. The Small “U”: From Gaza into the Nitzana area The Medium“U”: From Gaza into the Faran area The Large“U”: From Gaza into the Eilat area The Strategic Division // Israel Defense Forces