IDF Thanks Southern Israel for ‘Resilience’

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An Israeli soldier stands next to a field’s dinning table in a staging area near the border with Gaza, Thursday. (Reuters/ Ronen Zvulun)

As Israel warily returned to normalcy after two days of fighting Gaza terrorists, senior IDF officers expressed a special thanks to the communities in the south which bore the brunt of the rocket attacks.

During a meeting with mayors in the region, Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Gaza Division commander Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano praised them for their “resilience” and cooperation with the authorities during the crisis.

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Israeli soldiers atop an armored personnel carrier in a staging area near the border with Gaza, Thursday. (Reuters/ Ronen Zvulun)

The commanders “noted their great appreciation for the responsible conduct of residents of the area in abiding by IDF Home Front Command instructions and the resilience that they displayed during the days of fighting,” the military says in a statement.

Meanwhile, despite a brief violation of the ceasefire in which Iron Dome intercepted an incoming rocket in the south with no injuries or damage, Israel Railways announced resumption of regular train service between Ashkelon and Beersheva, where routes were suspended since rockets began falling on Tuesday.

However, communities in the Gaza border periphery were less reassured. On Thursday evening, they announced cancellation of school Friday, citing the still-fragile security situation.

“The decision was made out of concern for the students and teaching staff,” the communities said in a joint statement.

Also on Thursday, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett met with the IDF chief of staff, Shin Bet security chief, the heads of the IDF Home Front Command and Military Intelligence, the deputy defense minister and other senior defense officials at the army headquarters in Tel Aviv for an update on Gaza, according to a statement from his office.

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