Photo Credit: Dima Vazinovich/Flash90
Israeli children take taking cover inside a shelter while a rocket alarm sounds outside, in kibbutz Nir Oz, near the Gaza border. March 12, 2012.

JERUSALEM – Life in south-central Israel began returning to normal as the fragile cease-fire, brokered by the Egyptian military junta, appeared to take hold.

Tens of thousands of children, confined to their homes earlier in the week, prepared to make their way back to their classrooms. Many teachers maintained a working relationship with students during the course of the violence via computer links.

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Small business owners, who were forced to close in the midst of the missile attacks, said they had lost millions of dollars in revenues and could be forced to declare bankruptcy if the government doesn’t offer them a financial lifeline during the next few weeks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on the verge earlier this week of ordering the IDF to launch an invasion of the Gaza Strip to wipe out Iranian-trained Islamic Jihad missile squads and possibly topple the Hamas regime.

Had the Iron Dome anti-missile system not knocked down most of the dozens of Grad missiles fired at Israel, or had the Islamic Jihad terror squad that left Gaza to attempt a Purim massacre in the heart of Israel last Thursday succeeded in its mission, IDF armor and combat units likely would have mounted a strike into Gaza.

While the IDF remained mum about the fate of the Islamic Jihad terror squad, Israel Police once again restricted traffic on Route 12 along the Sinai-Negev border near Eilat, where it is believed the terrorists had attempted to breach the new security fence.

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