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Operation Autumn Clouds

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Title: Operation Autumn Clouds  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gaza–Israel conflict, Operation Summer Rains, Operation Hot Winter, Gaza War (2008–09), November 2006
Collection: Counter-Terrorism in Israel, Israeli Attacks Against Gaza Strip
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Operation Autumn Clouds

Operation "Autumn Clouds"
Part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Date 31 October – 8 November 2006[1]
Location Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip

Tactical Israeli victory




Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
  • 1 killed[3]
  • 3 civilians wounded
82 Palestinians killed, at least halve of whom civilians
More than 260 wounded[4][5]

Operation "Autumn Clouds" (Hebrew: מבצע ענני סתיוMivtza Ananei Stav) is an Israeli military operation that began on 1 November 2006, following numerous rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel, when the Israeli Defense Forces entered the Gaza Strip triggering sporadic fighting near Beit Hanoun. The operation is the largest military endeavor undertaken by the Israeli military since Operation "Summer Rains" in the summer of 2006.[6] The operation was launched to stop Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel.

Palestinian government officials said on 7 November that IDF troops were beginning to withdraw, thus ending the operation. Fifty-three Palestinians, including 16 civilians, and an IDF soldier, were killed since 31 October.[7]


  • Timeline 1
    • 1 November raid 1.1
    • 3 November shootings 1.2
    • 7 November withdrawal 1.3
    • 8 November shelling 1.4
    • 16 November 1.5
    • Aftermath 1.6
  • See also 2
  • References 3


1 November raid

On 1 November 2006, in the largest military operation by Israel since Operation "Summer Rains", six Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed and 35 people were wounded during a raid on Beit Hanoun by the Israeli military. The raid involved three air strikes, sixty tanks backed by helicopter gunships. The AFP news agency reported that three houses were razed by Israeli bulldozers and a dozen homes were hit by tank shells. The raid was the beginning of Operation "Autumn Clouds" by the Israeli military. Both the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, have described the raid as a massacre.[8]

3 November shootings

On 3 November 2006 one Palestinian woman was killed and ten were reported wounded by Israeli military fire.[9][10] The women had gathered outside a mosque in Beit Hanoun after an appeal by the local radio for women to rescue Palestinian militants trapped inside a mosque by disguising the militants as women.[11] The Israeli military claimed that their soldiers had spotted two Palestinian militants dressed in women's clothes hiding within the crowd of women, and that the militants were using the women as human shields.[12][13]

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Ismail Haniyeh, praised the women whom he said "...led the protest to break the siege of Beit Hanoun".[9]

7 November withdrawal

Palestinian government officials said on 7 November that IDF troops were beginning to withdraw, thus ending the operation. Fifty-three Palestinians, including 16 civilians, and an IDF soldier, were killed since 31 October.[7]

8 November shelling

Several civilian houses in Beit Hanoun were struck by shells, fired by the Israeli Defense Force. At least 19 Palestinian civilians were killed and 40 wounded.

One day later Assistant Secretary-General Angela Kane of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs briefed the U.N. Security Council on the shelling. She "urged both sides in the conflict to 'return to dialogue'".[14] A resolution proposed by Qatar as condemnation of the shelling was brought before the Security Council and was vetoed by the United States, with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton calling the proposed resolution 'one-sided' and 'politically motivated'. Following this rebuff, a watered-down and non-binding resolution was passed by the U.N. General Assembly on 17 November 2006 expressing the assembly's 'distress' at the shelling and calling for a fact-finding mission to be sent to Gaza. The resolution was passed by a majority including the European Union member states. Among the several objectors were the United States and Israel.[15]

16 November

On 16 November, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants firing from Beit Hanoun launched a Qassam rocket at the Israeli town of Sderot, killing one and injuring one other. Israel's Prime Minister released a statement saying: "This is precisely the type of murderous attacks that we are trying to prevent. Israel will take any means necessary in protecting our citizens." [3]


Israel refused to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council and obstructed any international investigation into the matter. A Human Rights Council mandated mission which was to have been led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was refused to enter Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. On 11 November the United States vetoed a Security Council draft resolution calling for the establishment of a fact-finding mission into the events of 8 November in Beit Hanoun.

A UN report, written by the Special Rapporteur, concluded that ″it seems clear that the indiscriminate firing of shells into a civilian neighbourhood with no apparent military objective constituted a war crime, for which both the commanding officer and those who launched the 30-minute artillery attack should be held criminally responsible″.[4]

See also


  1. ^ [4]
  2. ^ "PM: No Hamas member is immune".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard, para 10-11. 29 January 2007 ( A/HRC/4/17)
  5. ^
  6. ^ IDF soldier and at least 10 Palestinian gunmen killed in Gaza Jerusalem Post
  7. ^ a b PA sources: IDF soldiers begin pulling out of northern Gaza Ha'aretz
  8. ^ "BBC NEWS - Middle East - Israel launches major Gaza raid". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  9. ^ a b 19 Palestinians killed in IDF raids in West Bank, Gaza
  10. ^ "At least one Palestinian woman was killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a group near a Gaza mosque.". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Gaza women killed in mosque siege". BBC News. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  12. ^,20867,20698726-1702,00.html
  13. ^ Gunman may have dressed as women in mosque raid
  14. ^ U.N. Department of Political Affairs
  15. ^ U.N. calls for end to Israel's Gaza ops

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