At the end of a special cabinet meeting held at the IDF's Tel Aviv headquarters, Defense Minister Barak said, "A few hours ago the IDF launched operation 'Pillar of Defense.' As part of the operation Hamas's army chief was taken out as well as most of Hamas's Fajr-3 artillery
rockets and other infrastructures. Israel does not desire war, but the provocations of the last week demanded of us to act swiftly and sharply."
Barak added: "The operation's goals are to deal a harsh blow to the rocket firing capabilities, to deal a painful blow to Hamas and the other organizations and minimize the damage to our home front. In the long run I believe that the operation will bring safety to the south. (Shahar Hai)