On Monday, the State of Israel marked the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terror organization in Gaza. The event was marked with a stately memorial service remembering the country’s fallen soldiers and civilians of the armed conflict.
The memorial ceremony was held at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem and was attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu addressed the crowd, vowing to protect Israel in any future conflict. “Hamas has suffered the hardest strike it had experienced since its creation. And to our enemies I say: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and even ISIS – if you try to hurt Israel, there will be blood,” he said.
Addressing those gathered, Rivlin reflected upon Protective Edge saying, “This was a moral operation, a just one, fitting of a sovereign state called upon to defend its citizens.”
“In the weeks leading up to the operation, each day dozens of rockets were fired at the residents of the South, and the towns on the front-line. Children, women, the elderly, and men, were subjected to waves of shock, and the screeching threat of death. Terror tunnels dug underneath kindergartens and cafes, in clearly civilian areas, with the aim of murdering people who simply sought to sow their field, plant an orchard, to build a home.”
Over the last year and since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s southern region is again experiencing trickling rocket fire on its cities and civilians.
With reports coming in from Gaza about terror tunnels being rebuilt and little to no international pressure on Hamas and Palestinians, a future escalation is a reality.