Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid Kobi Alkotzer/GPO

Prime Minister Yair Lapid addressed the nation Monday night following the ceasefire which ended Operation Breaking Dawn.

"Operation Breaking Dawn' gave Israel back the initiative. It brought back Israeli deterrence. All of our goals were achieved. The entire military elite of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza was routed within three days. The strength and sophistication of the IDF dealt the enemy a heavy blow," Lapid began.

He added: "The firm stand and responsible conduct of the residents of the Israeli border and rear, along with the active defense of the Iron Dome, saved lives and prevented casualties. We send our wishes for a speedy recovery and full recovery to the wounded."

"At the same time as the operation in Gaza, Shabak and IDF soldiers led an extensive arrest operation of Islamic Jihad operatives in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli government continued its strong policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Whoever tries to harm us will pay with his life."

He referred to the humanitarian issue and said: "During the entire operation, a special effort was made to prevent harm to those not involved. The State of Israel will not apologize for protecting its residents while using force, but the death of innocents, especially children, is heartbreaking. I want to turn to the residents Gaza and tell them: There is another way. We will know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to give work and livelihood and a life of dignity to everyone who wants to live in peace by our side. There is another way to live. The way of the Abraham Accords, of the Negev summit , of innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects. The choice is yours. Your future depends on you."

"I want to express my deep appreciation to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, to the alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shabak Chief Ronen Bar, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and the thousands of people under their command. The people of Israel have someone to trust. Israel's security is in good hands. I also want to thank the opposition, and Opposition leader Netanyahu, who showed responsibility and gave his support to the government throughout the operation."

"I want to thank the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence, Abbas Kamal, for their central and important role and their efforts to achieve a ceasefire and maintain stability in the region. We continue to work with them to bring our sons home. As long as Hadar and Oron, Abera and Hisham, are not returned, our work is not done," he added.

"Yesterday, in Sderot, I met the municipal leaders of the Gaza envelope. They are strong, the residents are strong, andthe entire nation of Israel stands behind them. Under the leadership of Finance Minister Liberman, we are already preparing an orderly plan of aid and compensation for the residents. This government will not disappear from their lives the day after the guns stop firing."

"At the same time, the events of Tisha B'Av also went as planned. Despite the security tensions, we decided that what has been customary all these years on the Temple Mount, at the Western Wall, will take place this year as well. I thank Public Defense Minister Omer Barlev, the police, the Border Police, for an impressive effort. The night after Tisha B'Av, together with the night after Operation Breaking Dawn, is an opportunity to remember that our enemies are outside, not within us. We must beware of baseless hatred. The right way to face the challenges we face is together," Lapid said.