Late Sunday night, the ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad came into effect. A short time later, rockets were fired at the Gaza envelope settlements and Sderot, but peace has been maintained since. The rogue launches had to do with the fact that unlike Hamas, which is organized in a military hierarchy, the Jihad is horizontal and local commanders sometimes make independent decisions. Sources in Israel said that “we reserve the right to respond if the ceasefire is violated.” The IDF spokesman’s office said that despite the ceasefire, the restrictions on the home front in southern Israel remain in effect until they are reevaluated Monday morning.
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ran Kochav summarized the Breaking Dawn Operation Monday morning, saying the plan following the ceasefire is to return gradually to the routine on the home front. Among other things, the IDF is working to open the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings Monday morning for the passage of workers, supplies, and fuel between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Kochav added that the Islamic jihad fired 1100 rockets, 200 of which fell in the Gaza Strip and 900 rockets crossed into Israeli territory. He emphasized: “More Palestinians were killed by the Islamic Jihad’s failed shooting than by the IDF’s shooting.”
That was a little inaccurate, although the real numbers still don’t make the Islamic Jihad look very good: 15 Gazan Arabs were killed by failed rockets that dropped before reaching the Israeli border, some before reaching the next block, as was the case of כour dead, a father and his three children––two 13-year-old twin boys and a 9-year-old girl––all of whom were killed by a missile that hit the family’s home in the Alborij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip. The Arabs in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority immediately accused Israel of a “massacre,” as did Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi. But the IDF very quickly provided a video showing the missile taking off from an Islamic Jihad launcher and falling on the house of the four unfortunate victims.
MK Tibi took down his tweet.
According to Kochav, the IDF killed 35 Gazans, including 11 bystanders, two of whom were the wives of the top Jihad commanders who were eliminated. Not sure how that could be avoided. As you may recall, on May 3, 2011, the heroic Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the murder of almost 3,000 innocent civilians, was hiding behind one of his wives when the US special forces raided his million-dollar home in Pakistan.
On the political and security level, Israel marked two major achievements in the three-day war: doing away with the rejection whereby the residents of the Gaza envelope can be threatened following an arrest of Arab terrorists in Judea and Samaria; and the fact that the top command of the Islamic Jihad was assassinated, together with some 20 rank and file fighters. There was also a tactical achievement: the IDF succeeded in winning a short, brisk war using surgical attacks that harmed the Islamic Jihad in pre-designated areas.
Now, the Jihad is only about 10,000 strong. Hamas is much bigger and it remains to be seen whether the IDF can thwart it with the same ease. What can be said is that the IDF has taken the initiative this time, and therefore Hamas has to worry about its turn to be attacked.
Finally: Israel was unafraid to squeeze the Gazans when it came to halting humanitarian support during the clashes, and as a result, the power plant in Gaza very quickly ran out of diesel fuel, which is delivered to the Gaza Strip from Israel. Without diesel, the electricity supply in the Gaza Strip is disrupted and the functioning of the hospitals is severely affected and they can’t treat the hundreds of wounded from the air force attacks.
Next: those 14,000 Gazan workers who were barred from going to their jobs in Israel for most of last week were a ticking time bomb. Some rioted last week and Hamas could not afford to be on the receiving end of street violence.
In other words, this government was unafraid to turn off the switch on Gaza, carry out the first kill, and surgically cut only the cancerous tissue out of the body of the sick man of the middle east – Gaza.