On November 14, 2012, the IDF (Zahal) launched Pillar of Defense – an eight-day operation aimed at crippling terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and defending Israel’s civilians. On this day a year ago, a ceasefire was announced, marking the end of the operation.

Here are eight photos, one for each day of the operation, that show Israel’s harsh reality through the eyes of its civilians. A year after the operation, we are reminded both of Israel’s strengths and the threats that our civilians face on a daily basis.

(1) The IDF (Zahal)’s reserves were quickly called up to duty. Thousands of reservists left their homes and families to prepare for a potential ground operation.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(2) IDF (Zahal) Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz met with troops during an operational briefing near the Gaza border.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(3) November 16th: Children ran for shelter in Kiryat Malachi after a siren warned of an impending rocket strike. Two days earlier, three civilians were killed by a rocket that fell in the same city.  Israelis living near Gaza have only 15 seconds to find shelter during a rocket attack.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(4) November 18th: Children slept in a bomb shelter in Ashkelon after 14 rockets hit the city that night. Unfortunately, Israel’s civilians are accustomed to living under fire.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(5) Hundreds of Israeli civilians now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of rocket fire from Gaza.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(6) November 20th: A Fajr-5 rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in Rishon LeZion. Southern Israel faced costly damages to residents’ vehicles and buildings.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(7) Despite the IDF (Zahal)’s best efforts to protect everyone in Israel, six Israeli civilians were killed due to rocket fire, while an additional 240 were injured.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense

(8) 421 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, which saved countless Israeli lives.

8 Days, 8 Striking Photos that Tell the Story of Operation Pillar of Defense