GAZA STRIP, December 27 – Today marks the 12th anniversary of the 2008 brutal Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.
At around 11:00 a.m. on 27 December 2008, nearly 80 Israeli occupation warplanes simultaneously bombed Palestinian security and government positions, killing more than 200 Palestinians, mostly security forces.
Police Chief Gen. Tawfiq Jaber, head of Security and Protection Department Col. Ismail al-Jabari, and the mayor of Gaza’s central province Abu Ahmad Ashour.
The onslaught came after a six-month, Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire agreement between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation that it had broken more than once, prompting the former not to extend it.
The Israeli occupation misled the Palestinian resistance at the time by announcing a 48-hour ultimatum to stop rocket fire from the blockaded Gaza Strip but it launched a fierce offensive only 24 hours later.
The then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s office told reporters that the Israeli occupation government would convene on Sunday to discuss carrying out an all-out assault against the besieged Gaza Strip, but the offensive began one day before the purported meeting.
For eight days in a row, the Israeli occupation warplanes launched intensive aerial attacks on several areas across the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian resistance, in return, fired homemade rockets at Israeli settlements adjacent the blockaded enclave.
The Israeli airstrikes targeted hundreds of civilian structures, including homes, mosques, schools, charity organisations, and hospitals.
On 3 January 2009, the Israeli occupation army mounted a ground offensive against the Gaza Strip; hundreds of tanks along with warplanes heavily pounded the besieged territory.
After the Israeli occupation failed to achieve its goal through its aerial and ground attacks, it resorted to using internationally-prohibited weapons, foremost among them white phosphorus and depleted uranium, which traces appeared on the bodies of some martyrs, according to reports by experts and EU groups.
After 23 days of the atrocious Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, Olmert declared a unilateral truce without withdrawing his army troops from the besieged strip. One day later, the Palestinian resistance announced a ceasefire giving the Israeli occupation one week to pull its military out of the Gaza Strip.
During the Israeli onslaught, nearly 1,330 Palestinians were killed, mostly citizens, women, and children, and 5,500 were injured, some of whom still suffer from permanent disabilities.
The Palestinian resistance announced that it had launched more than 1,500 homemade projectiles at Israeli targets in response to the fierce Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Interior Minister Said Seyam and senior Hamas official Nizar Rayan were among the martyrs assassinated by the Israeli occupation army during this onslaught.
The Palestinian resistance managed to stand steadfast in the face of the Israeli occupation military and benefited from this battle by developing its capabilities to defend its people against any Israeli aggression.