Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Israel: No Ceasefire With Hamas - Troops Remain On Gaza Border

Senior official says no ceasefire with Hamas, as troops remain on Gaza border

Israel did not agree to a ceasefire with Hamas, and is ready to continue its airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip, a senior official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage to Washington said Tuesday, minutes before the delegation’s plane landed in Tel Aviv.
“There was no ceasefire,” the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Netanyahu was in constant contact with the IDF chief of staff and other security officials throughout the 12-hour flight back to Israel, the official added.
Israeli troops and tanks along the Gaza border remained at the ready on Tuesday afternoon, hours after an unofficial ceasefire went into effect following the latest bout of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas terror group in the coastal enclave.

“We had many targets in Gaza. These were the hardest blows Hamas has suffered since Operation Protective Edge,” the senior official said, referring to the 2014 war with the terrorist group in Gaza.

“We hit office buildings and other infrastructure. We sent a strong message,” the official went on. “The images were reminiscent of the end of Protective Edge.

“And we’re prepared to do even more. We will see what happens,” the official added.

Asked by The Times of Israel if Israel has adopted a “quiet will be met by quiet” formula, the official demurred. “I am not saying anything. We will see what happens.”

Netanyahu’s plane returned to Israel from the US at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and Netanyahu immediately made his way to the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv for additional security consultations with IDF chief Aviv Kohavi and other top defense officials.
The latest round of violence was kindled when, just after dawn on Monday, a rocket from the southern Gaza Strip that Israel says was fired by Hamas struck a home in the town of Mishmeret, northeast of Tel Aviv, leveling the building. Two of the people inside were moderately wounded and five others, including two small children, were lightly injured.
It was the farthest-reaching rocket strike from the Strip since the 2014 war.

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