Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Lapid: Gaza operation gave Israel initiative and deterrence back

PM says all operation's goals achieved and 'Islamic Jihad's entire military high command' killed in fighting; Gantz sends stern warning to Iran, says Israel won't shy from carrying out preemptive attacks 'from Tehran to Khan Yunis'

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 08.08.22, 21:17
Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday said that the latest round of fighting returned the initiative to Israel in the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip.
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  • "Operation Breaking Dawn brought back the initiative and deterrence. Whoever tries to harm us will pay with their life," Lapid said in a televised statement alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
    3 View gallery
    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפידבהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפידבהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid
    (Photo: GPO)
    This latest flare-up was sparked over the weekend after Israeli airstrikes hit a senior Islamic Jihad commander following days of simmering cross-border tension. Israel said its action was a pre-emptive strike against an attack planned by the Iranian-backed group.
    In the 56 hours of violence that ensued, Palestinian militants fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, sending residents of southern areas and major cities including Tel Aviv fleeing to shelters.
    The sides agreed on a truce through Egyptian mediation that went into effect Sunday night.
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    שיגור רקטות מרצועת עזה
    שיגור רקטות מרצועת עזה
    Rockets fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip
    (Photo: Reuters)
    In a triumphant message, the premier claimed that the operation has achieved all its goals and that "Islamic Jihad's entire military high command" was killed over less than three days of fighting.
    Lapid also praised the Israeli home front for showing resolve and responsible conduct in the face of rocket fire, which alongside the Iron Dome missile defense system helped Israel conclude the operation without taking casualties.
    Lapid said that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to minimize harm to civilians and regretted any civilian life lost in the fighting but won't apologize for protecting its people even by force.
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    שר הביטחון בני גנץ בהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    שר הביטחון בני גנץ בהצהרה לתקשורת עם סיום מבצע עלות השחר
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: GPO)
    At least 44 people, including 15 children, were killed in Gaza during the conflict. The Palestinians claim all of them were killed in Israeli strikes. Jerusalem says many of the casualties died as a result of Palestinian rockets falling short. It also accuses Islamic Jihad of placing rocket launchers and military installations among civilian population.
    Defense Minister Gantz said that Israel reserves itself the right to carry out preemptive strikes against all threats while sending a stern message to the Jewish state's arch-foe Iran.
    "In the future, if necessary, we will carry out preemptive strikes to protect the citizens of Israel, its sovereignty and infrastructure. This holds true to every front, from Tehran to Khan Yunis," he said in reference to Iran and Gaza.
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