Gaza terrorists may declare their second ceasefire in 24 hours on Monday after the IDF’s swift and lethal retaliation against missile launchers.
Israel has not made a distinction between rocket attacks in rural areas, which often cause no damage or injuries, and those on major urban centers. One person was killed and two dozen others were wounded or suffered from shock in a barrage of terrorists' missile fire Friday and Saturday.
The Home Front Command said Sunday that school could re-open Monday, an indication that the IDF thinks Gaza terrorists will think twice before trying to stage another massive attack. Despite the confidence, many southern communities, including Ashkelon, kept schools closed for the second day in a row.
Islamic Jihad, along with other terrorist factions, took responsibility for the recent surge in missile fire but backed down from threats of revenge and agreed to a ceasefire Sunday morning.
Like previous commitments to halt attacks, the truce lasted a short time – this time only four hours – when Israeli aircraft spotted terrorists preparing to launch more rockets. A quick response scored a direct hit on the cell, killing two terrorists.
The group behind the attempted launched vowed immediate revenge, but Egypt continued trying to persuade warring terrorist factions to agree to a second ceasefire. A preliminary 10 p.m. truce never took effect, and Israel targeted another rocket launching cell overnight.
If a new ceasefire is not formally announced, an unofficial “calm” may be in force, allowing the terrorists to avoid being considered as having surrendered to Israel’s retaliation.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday afternoon, ”We will do anything to defend Israeli civilians. I advise the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations not to test our capabilities
Hamas has been relatively quiet in its statements. It is responsible for ruling Gaza, but its inability to silence other terrorists’ missiles reflects a growing unrest, particularly among those who consider Hamas as being “weak” by agreeing to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, even though Israel freed terrorists who were serving hundreds of life terms in jail for murdering Israelis.