|Rockets Fired into Israel from Gaza|
November 14, 2013
Early this morning, news reports say that two rockets were fired into Israel, landing in open fields close to the city of Ofakim, approximately 15 miles east of Gaza and 45 miles southwest of Jerusalem. In response, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) launched a limited air raid campaign, destroying two underground rocket launchers in Gaza. IDF ground troops also entered the Gaza Strip. The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Tensions between the Gaza Strip and Israel have slightly increased over the last month, resulting in an increase in militant attacks from the Gaza Strip into the immediate surrounding region. Faltering peace negotiations and yesterday's marking of the one-year anniversary of the November 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense are believed to be part of the cause. As a result, heightened tensions between the two entities may continue for several more weeks. The IDF is likely to continue responding with force should any future incidents occur.
All IFSA-Butler students are prohibited from traveling to the Gaza Strip and the immediate vicinity due to the high risk associated with the region. At this time, Jerusalem is still considered to be at a low-risk of any militant activity. Travel throughout Israel is permitted, but students must inform the IFSA-Butler student services coordinator and Hebrew University international staff of their travel plans. Students are also asked to always keep their cell phones on in case an emergency arises during their travels. Additionally, the IFSA-Butler and Hebrew University program orientations discussed at length personal safety measures in Israel.
IFSA-Butler will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as needed. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. For further information, see the following media outlets: