"There was a plan," Mordechai explained, refering to the operation. "In fact the plan was to give out an impression of a lull – defense officials kept a low profile, the IDF chief of staff was at a drill in the Jordan valley the day before, and there was a sense that life was getting back on track – and then the operation was launched with the assassination of Jabari, who had blood on his hands. Immediately thereafter, we started to strike with the full range of missiles."
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After Operation Pillar of Defense was launched Wednesday, the IDF struck continuously throughout the night and according to Mordechai, the operation has no endpoint.
"At the moment, there is no time limit," the IDF spokesman said, stressing that "The top priority is to restore the peace to residents of the south."
Brig.-Gen. Mordechai commended residents of the south, whom he noted were "part of our strength to carry out the attack."
"Difficult days are ahead," Mordechai added. "We must be strong in both defense and offense. At the end of the day we will be measured by what we have achieved; not by what we said we would achieve."
Regarding top operatives within military wings in Gaza, the IDF spokesman stressed that the IDF was tracking everyone, "From junior Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to senior operatives and leaders. They're all hiding in trenches and underground. The IDF is on their trail and I would recommend no one to be out in the open."
Meanwhile, the home front took a hard hit, with one Grad rocket killing three people and injuring several others in Kiryat Malachi. Dozens of rockets were fired on southern communities on Thursday morning. The Iron Dome aerial defense system managed to intercept some of them.
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