The latest escalation between Gaza terrorists and Israel concluded with a ceasefire overnight Saturday, but not before multiple people in Israel were killed amid 1,468 rockets fired at Israel. And even with the ceasefire in place, the threat of the next conflict was still recognized by Israeli leadership.
After thanking Egypt in a press release for their “intensive efforts” in securing the ceasefire, Israeli National Security Council (NSC) Director Tzachi Hanegbi “made it clear that Israel’s acceptance of the Egyptian initiative means that ‘quiet will be met with quiet’, and that if Israel is attacked or threatened, it will continue to do everything that it needs to in order to defend itself.”
It took just hours for Israel to prove that commitment. After another rocket was launched on Sunday at an open area in Israel, the IDF responded with tank fire at two Hamas military positions, according to posts to the IDF Hebrew Twitter page, as translated by Google. Al Jazeera’s Arabic website, also translated by Google, reported that a Palestinian terrorist source claimed the rocket fire was due to a technical problem and restated their commitment to the ceasefire.
The latest round of conflict, named “Operation Shield and Arrow” by Israel, lasted five days and resulted in more than 1,100 rockets landing inside Israel according to an IDF Twitter post—this in addition to the hundreds of rockets fired from Palestinian terrorists that landed short inside the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system logged 437 interceptions, for a 95.6% success rate.
Despite Israel’s defense systems, an elderly Israeli woman was killed by the rocketfire, while a Gazan working in Israel died from his wounds caused by a rocket attack, according to a report in the Times of Israel and the Twitter page of IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht. In his post on Saturday, Hecht noted that the brother of the Gazan was in hospital for treatment with Israeli doctors “fighting for his life.”
“These were two Brothers with families working in Israel for their family . This shows the Cynical ways of these Islamists,” tweeted Hecht.
The IDF, meanwhile, struck 700 terrorist targets and killed multiple high level Islamic Jihad operatives, with the IDF Twitter feed noting that included the commander of Islamic Jihad’s Rocket Launching Force, Ali Ghali.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Hebrew comments in Sunday’s Cabinet meeting published to his office’s website and translated into English by Google, said the Operation achieved its objectives of “initiative and surprise.”
“With complete surprise and continuous initiative, we thwarted the entire top of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. We destroyed 17 Jihad headquarters, eliminated dozens of terrorists, hit rocket and missile depots, thwarted anti-tank squads and more,” said Netanyahu.
“For months, since the establishment of the government, I have been saying again and again: whoever hurts us, whoever tries, and whoever will try to hurt us—blood on his head. Today the enemies of Israel, in Gaza and far beyond Gaza, know that even if they try to hide, we can and are willing to reach them at any time.”
Israel and terror groups in Gaza have battled numerous conflicts over the years, with thousands of rockets launched at Israel while Israel seeks to proactively defend their country from ongoing and future attacks. On Sunday, Netanyahu said the recognition of Israel’s ability and willingness to strike its enemies was “significantly strengthened in the ‘Shield and Arrow’ operation. We changed the equation.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 14, 2023)