Israel Accepts, Islamic Jihad Rejects Egyptian Humanitarian Ceasefire Proposal


A Palestinian man walks through the ruins of a house at the scene where senior commander of Islamic Jihad terror group Khaled Mansour was killed in Israeli strikes, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Sunday. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel has agreed to an Egyptian-proposed humanitarian ceasefire but the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group refused the offer, Palestinian sources told Channel 13 on Sunday.

Israeli officials told the Walla! news site that Israel is concerned that deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Gaza could lead to Hamas joining the fray.

Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid held a security briefing with Opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv Sunday morning as Operation Breaking Dawn against PIJ continued into its third day.

The meeting lasted about one hour, after which Netanyahu said in a statement: “We are in the midst of battle. I of course fully support the government, the IDF, and the security forces. I also strengthen the residents of the south for their firm stand and ask them to continue to observe the directives of the Home Front Command which save lives.

“I received a detailed update, I listened carefully and I gave some advice from my experience not only regarding the current situation but also regarding various areas and I think that these tips can be very useful for Israel’s security,” Netanyahu added.

The head of the Shin Bet, meanwhile, called for an end to a “successful” military operation against PIJ in Gaza.

Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in Ashkelon on Sunday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ronen Bar told the Security Cabinet on Motzoei Shabbos that PIJ was “hit hard” and stressed the importance of wrapping up the operation to avoid potential mistakes that could lead to a wider conflict.

Bar reportedly informed the cabinet ministers that the operation succeeded in separating PIJ from its terrorist counterparts Hamas, which rules Gaza and has thus far not participated in the fighting.

Bar said that creating a division between Hamas and PIJ is a strategic goal for Israel.

Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Sunday that Breaking Dawn will continue as long as necessary.

“The IDF, the Shin Bet, and the security forces will continue to act against Islamic Jihad until we restore peace and remove the threat to children [living in the Gaza border region],” Gantz said in a statement.

“The operation will continue as long as necessary,” Lapid said.

Lapid said the IDF would continue to strike targets in the Gaza Strip “in a pinpoint and responsible way in order to reduce to a minimum the harm to noncombatants.”

On Sunday, Gaza’s health ministry said 29 people had been killed in the fighting so far in the coastal enclave, including six children and four women. It said at least 253 people had been wounded.

Israel estimates its airstrikes have killed about 15 terrorists. Meanwhile, the IDF said terrorists in Gaza had fired some 580 rockets toward Israel and that around 160 of those landed in Gaza itself. Two rockets fired at Yerushalayim on Sunday morning were intercepted, b’chasdei Shamayim, causing no injuries.

The IDF said it has struck over 140 Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza in the past three days.

The Iron Dome system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to central Israel on Motzoei Shabbos. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Islamic Jihad said it targeted Yerushalayim in retaliation for Israel’s killing overnight of Khaled Mansour, its commander in southern Gaza. “The blood of the martyrs will not be wasted,” it said.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav said, “We were on alert that there could possibly be such a firing, we were preparing for it ahead of time. We have air protection capabilities in Jerusalem as well.”

About 30 Palestinians, at least a third of them civilians, have been killed, while rocket salvos have paralyzed much of southern Israel and sent residents in cities such as Tel Aviv and Ashkelon to shelters.

Casualties on the Israeli side have been prevented, b’siyata d’Shmaya, by the Iron Dome defense system, which an IDF spokesman said had a 97% success rate in shooting down rockets.

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