No Official Ceasefire, But No Shooting on Gaza Border

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli soldiers seen near IDF tanks stationed near the Israeli Gaza border on March 26, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Southern Israel began a wary return to normalcy on Tuesday, as authorities removed roadblocks and allowed train service restored to the area, while at the same time maintaining Iron Dome defenses and ordering army reinforcements to the Gaza border.

Israel dismissed Hamas claims of an agreed ceasefire Tuesday night, but by Wednesday the heavy cross-border exchanges of fire had died down, and only minor terror incidents were reported.

Soon after his early return from the U.S., Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with senior officials for a security assessment. Following the meeting, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi ordered an infantry brigade and an armored battalion deployed to the Gaza border, along with an additional reserves callup, an IDF spokesperson said.

Netanyahu, who also serves as defense minister, Kochavi, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen, National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat and senior IDF and security establishment commanders and officials took part in the consultations.

The IDF was taking down road blocks restricting public access to the Gaza Strip, including access roads to some border communities such as Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

Military and education authorities were said to be deciding about school reopenings on Tuesday night.

B’chasdei shamayim, no injuries were reported in the rocket attacks on Monday night, despite dozens of projectiles launched from Gaza into Israel, including a& home in Sderot that took a direct hit, as the rocket failed to explode.

Early Monday morning, a rocket that hit a home in the town of Mishmeret northeast of Tel Aviv demolished the building and injuried seven people.

Additional Iron Dome air defense batteries have been deployed throughout the country.

Disturbing the relative quiet on Tuesday, a Molotov Cocktail from Gaza in the afternoon landed in an agricultural field in the Eshkol region, causing a fire that damaged a small area.