Although she will be vying head-to-head with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the upcoming Knesset elections, Labor Party head Shelly Yechimovich on Thursday praised the two for their handling of the latest round of rocket terror attacks from Gaza. “The Prime Minister and Defense Minister acted with caution in the latest confrontation Israel faced in the south. Their actions were appropriate, correct, and precise.”
Speaking on Israel Radio, Yechimovich said that it was appropriate for Israel to allow Egypt to take the lead in this instance and to try and broker a cease fire. Reports Wednesday night said that terror groups had agreed to a cease fire deal promoted by Cairo, at the behest of Hamas, which was said to be unhappy over the ongoing attacks on southern Israel. Other reports said that some of the groups had not agreed to the truce.
On Thursday morning, a mortar shell fell in an area of the Eshkol Regional Council Thursday morning, as southern Israel remained on high alert after some 80 rockets were fired on Wednesday. The rocket fell in an open area. No injuries or damage were reported.
Hamas was pushing for a truce, said Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, because it feared Israel's response. Speaking on Israel Radio, Shalom said that “Hamas understands that Israel can respond with its full strength to these rocket attacks, and can take a wide variety of actions, including a land operation in Gaza and the targeting of the heads of Hamas.”