The campaign against Islamic Jihad is not over, say Netanyahu and Gallant

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallah stressed Wednesday night, May 10, that the Gaza campaign was not over, as rockets continued to fly from Gaza. They made no mention of media reports of an impending ceasefire deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad brokered by Egypt.  Such reports were premature, said National Security Adviser Tzahi Hanegbi. Jihad had just unleashed its second heavy barrage of rockets that day – 90 in a single hour – after hurling more than 300 during the day across a wide range of near and far targets, including Tel Aviv in central Israel and Beersheba in the south.

Offering these figures, Gallant disclosed that one-third of the rockets fell short inside the Gaza Strip, and most of the others were intercepted by Iron Dome or landed on vacant land. Two buildings were hit, a home in Netivot and a kindergarten in Beersheba, without casualties.

In Tel Aviv, Israel’s next-generation air defense David’s Sling interceptor made its operational debut by downing an incoming Gaza rocket.

Following the second round of heavy rocket fire, the IDF again went into more action Wednesday night against Jihad targets in Gaza, focusing on hideouts used as Jihad command centers as well as rocket production sites. It had meanwhile transpired that Jihad had failed to enlist its fellow terrorist group Hamas to its rocket blitz, outside of some logistical assistance.

Both Netanyahu and Gallant emphasized that Jihad had sustained the worst blow in its history in the Shield and Arrow operation. Israel, having liquidated its three top officials, had proved there was nowhere for terrorists to hide. The minister implicitly addressed this message to Hamas when he said, “We will continue to fight Jihad in the Gaza Strip and also any other threat.” While insisting that the conflict was not over, he added the hope that it could be terminated soon. Gallant had high praise for the close coordination exhibited in the current operation between the IDF and the Shin Bet security service as an important component of national security. What happened next was a third massive rocket blitz against Tel Aviv and neighboring cities.

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