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Despite Reports Of A Ceasefire, PM Netanyahu Says Campaign Against Hamas Isn’t Over Yet

Despite reports of the ceasefire, and despite the fact that the quiet in the southern communities has been maintained since the morning hours and that the special instructions of the IDF Homefront Command have been removed, Prime Minister Netanyahu makes it clear: “The campaign is not over.”

“In the past two days, we have hit Hamas and the Islamic Jihad with great force,” Netanyahu said. “We attacked more than 350 targets, hit leaders and terror activists and destroyed terrorist towers. The campaign has not ended, and it requires patience and deliberation, and we are preparing for the continuation … The goal was and remains to ensure the peace and security of the residents of the south,” he said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the media, “Over the last two days we struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force. We hit over 350 targets. We struck at terrorist leaders and operatives and we destroyed terrorist buildings.

“The campaign is not over and it demands patience and sagacity. We are prepared to continue. The goal has been – and remains – ensuring quiet and security for the residents of the south. I send condolences to the families and best wishes for recovery to the wounded.”

A senior security force is quoted by News 12 saying, “Hamas and Islamic Jihad understood that the rules of the game had changed and therefore they stopped firing on their own initiative after repeated requests for a ceasefire.”

Despite the statements made by Netanyahu, the IDF Spokesperson announced that at about 7:00AM the Hamas leadership in Gaza had declared victory and claimed that the terrorist organizations in Gaza had won because of the Eurovision Song Contest. “We taught them a lesson” they said, and claimed that Netanyahu had accepted the ceasefire in order to finish the task of forming the new government.

The Ministry of Education announced that schools will be opened gradually until 9:00AM as life returns to normal and that the teachers and principals will receive their students as usual and conduct a school day “in a gradual manner”

“The school counselors, in cooperation with the psychological and educational service teams, will work to identify distress and needs, and to strengthen the students’ psychological durability. The teaching staff will hold talks with the students, relieve stress, including yard activities for relaxation, and give expression to a shared social and emotional discourse,” ministry officials explain.

Despite this, schools did not reopen in all councils in the south, as in the Shar HaNegev Regional Council the decision was made not to reopen schools just yet, apparently unconvinced of the integrity of the ceasefire.

According to Palestinian sources, the mediators between Egypt and Jerusalem reached a ceasefire agreement between Gaza and Israel. A number of sources confirmed the details, as did the Hamas-affiliated television channel. Palestinian media reported earlier that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad missions in Cairo did not agree to the Israeli truce proposal and therefore the ceasefire did not take effect at midnight, despite the contacts. According to reports, Israel offered a truce agreement in return for an end to the attacks in Gaza.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon, GPO)

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