Defense official: Mortal fire on Israel stopped by extensive IDF strikes

The rocket and mortar fire from Gaza has ceased because of significant strikes that the IDF carried out overnight in Gaza, a senior source in the Israeli defense establishment said Wednesday.

“The IDF launched a significant strike overnight in Gaza and we have acted responsibly, and since the morning the fire has stopped. Israel has delivered a message that if the fire resumes, the attacks on Hamas and the other groups will intensify,” he said.

“In recent months, Israel has acted with force and determination against any attempt to violate its sovereignty and/or harm the security of the residents of the south and it will continue to act with force against any attempt to violate the peace,” he said.

Palestinian media quoted Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhom as saying a “consensus was reached to return to the ceasefire understandings” in the Gaza Strip after “many hours” of meditation.

Israel’s Reshet Bet reported that over 180 rockets and mortars were launched towards Israeli civilian areas, and earlier on Wednesday the IDF released an infographic of 65 airstrikes carried against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the over 24 hours of fire launched from the enclave.

According to the army, the targets included a drone facility, rocket manufacturing plant, advanced naval weaponry, military compounds, training camps and weapons factories.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and former head of the research division in IDF Military Intelligence, said that it can be assumed that there is a ceasefire in place, but “the question is, is it going to be stable.”

Speaking on a conference call organized by The Israel Project, Kuperwasser said the time it took to reach an understanding and stop the fire was “relatively short” due to changes in the regional settings, comparing it to how long it took to reach a ceasefire in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge

“In 2014, everyone intervened. America brought Turkey and Qatar, supporters of Hamas, to be partners to bring about a new arrangement and it took a long time,” he said. “Now, Saudi Arabia the UAE and Egypt are the more prominent forces in the Arab world and the approach of the American administration to what is happening in Gaza is quite different than its predecessor.”

“The entire setting is not helping Hamas,” Kuperwasser continued. “In 2014 they believed they could achieve something that lasted 55 days; this time they understand there is nothing to gain.”

According to Kuperwasser, Hamas paid a heavy price, especially after damaging the infrastructure supplying electricity to the beleaguered Strip in one of their rounds.

“The lesson is that it is not in their interest to enter this kind of round and I hope they will calculate it and learn it and keep it with them for a long time. But with these people, you never know,” he said.


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