19 November 2012
Gaza City, Palestinian Territories
A Palestinian woman is helped after being injured during an Israeli strike on a soccer field next to her house.
Israel launched a military offensive against targets in Hamas-ruled Gaza, on 14 November. Israeli authorities said that Operation Pillar of Defense was aimed at protecting citizens from the hundreds of missiles fired into Israel by militants in Gaza.
Initially, Israeli airstrikes were directed at rocket-storage sites, and Hamas security facilities, as well as at smuggling tunnels and electricity sources. On the first day of the attack, Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of Hamas’s military wing, was killed in a pinpoint airstrike as he was riding in a car on a Gaza street.
Attacks soon escalated to include the police headquarters in Gaza City, and homes of suspected Hamas activists. Civilian casualties began to rise. A ceasefire was reached on 21 November.