Monday, Israel marked the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. The event was remembered with a stately memorial service to the 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 President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the crowd saying “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.”

President Rivlin spoke of Protective Edge in his speech “This was a moral operation, a just one, fitting of a sovereign state called upon to defend its citizens.”

operation protective edge anniversary

“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.” said Rivlin.

A year since Operation Protective Edge concluded and the Israeli south region is again experiencing trickling rocket fire on civilians and cities. With reports coming in from Gaza about the terror tunnels being rebuilt and little to no international pressure on Hamas and Palestinians, a future escalation is a reality.

By Michael Zeff