'Pillar of Cloud'

For the past few years Hamas and others in Gaza and now from the Egyptian Sinai have rained missiles into Israel, over 700 in the past year, 120 in the past few days.  Deliberately aimed at civilian targets - farms, towns, schools, hospitals - over a million Israelis are now staying in bomb shelters.  

This all fits in with Hamas belief, carried into deathly practice that "The annihilation of the Jews in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine."

Enough!  Israel decided to strike back in Operation Pillar of Cloud (in Hebrew), Pillar of Defense (in English).  

When the Egyptian Pharoah finally let the Israelites go, as described in the Torah, the Jewish Bible, in Exodus 

19 And the angel of G-d, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them;

20 and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness here, yet gave it light by night there; and the one came not near the other all the night

The Israel Defense Forces blog provide ongoing updates of the operation.  

Mark Toner, the
US Deputy Spokesperson, "strongly condemn(ed) the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel" 

We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel's right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination.

Others, naturally, condemned Israel for defending itself.  

Egypt has denounced Israel for its "aggression", pulling out its ambassador to Israel and removing the Israel ambassador to Egypt.The UN, quiet when missiles landed in Israel, held an emergency meeting; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "voiced his expectation that 'Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed.' "

Meanwhile the slaughter in Syria, Libya and Iran continues.