Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, neighboring Israeli cities and towns have endured an increased bombardment of rocket attacks. Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Gaza have fired nearly 13,000 rockets towards Israel in the past decade, the majority of which were launched after Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. More than 1,000,000 Israelis live within range of rocket and mortar attacks. The arsenal is growing, and many of the rockets are long-range.
Israel has managed to minimize casualties by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in civil defense. Despite this, once air-raid sirens are triggered by incoming rockets, civilians only have from 15 to 60 seconds to run and reach safety before the rockets explode. In the past six years rockets fired from Gaza have killed 44 Israelis and wounded over 1,600 more.