Last weekend, Israel launched Operation Breaking Dawn, going on the offensive to neutralize a growing threat again in the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) successfully targeted key leaders in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), another Islamic fundamentalist group jockeying for control of the Palestinians.
In retaliation, the PIJ reigned down more than 1,000 missiles at southern and central Israel (toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) for a couple of days. The Iron Dome successfully stopped 97 percent of the incoming missiles.
Many of their rockets actually misfired and ended up killing innocent bystanders (including their own children) in Gaza. The PIJ blamed Israel, but the IDF has video of the engagements that led to the deaths in question—and the PIJ rockets were clearly at fault (although Hamas instructed Palestinian journalists to report the story a different way).
Two questions—one, where does the PIJ (a small faction with a few thousand followers) get the money for rockets (they supposedly have 10,000 at their disposal)? One word—Iran. Second question—how long are the average people of Gaza going to put up with this abuse and nonsense?
Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid asked the Palestinian people directly that same question in an address after the ceasefire on Monday.
“The choice is yours. Your future depends on you,” Lapid said. “There is also another way. We know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to provide work, livelihood, and a life of dignity to anyone who wants to live in peace by our side.” The prime minister said that Abraham Accords and the Negev Summit have demonstrated how Israel and Arab peoples can work together for “innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects.” And Lapid extended an invitation to the Palestinian people to take part.
Lapid also said Israel accomplished what it set out to do militarily in Gaza. “In Operation Breaking Dawn, Israel reclaimed initiative. It restored Israel’s deterrence. All our goals were achieved. The entire senior military command of Islamic Jihad in Gaza was successfully targeted within three days. The strength and ingenuity of the Israel Defense Forces dealt a devastating blow to the enemy.”
Lapid thanked former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his support during the conflict. Lapid had invited Netanyahu in for a security briefing, and afterward, Netanyahu expressed his full support for the military operation.
Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz stressed that the military will use preemptive strikes to keep the nation secure (a possible signal to Hezbollah as well—as they continue to harass Israel’s natural gas fields in the Mediterranean).
“We will operate forcefully and use all the means at our disposal – both military and civilian. We will operate in accordance with our need and considerations,” Gantz said. Operation Breaking Dawn succeeded “while sending a clear message to our enemies in each of the arenas: Israel is determined to maintain its sovereignty and protect its citizens.”