Official on Netanyahu's plane: Reports of ceasefire a Hamas rumor

According to diplomatic officials, Netanyahu was in continuous contact with the IDF chief of staff during his flight from Washington, and the directive he gave was to continue attacks inside Gaza.

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March 26, 2019 14:35
1 minute read.
Israeli soldiers chat next to armored personnel carrier's (APC) near the border with Gaza, in southe

Israeli soldiers chat next to armored personnel carrier's (APC) near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel March 26, 2019. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

 
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WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed back in Israel on Tuesday afternoon and went directly to the Kirya Military Headquarters for security consultations.

According to a diplomatic official, Netanyahu was in continuous contact with the IDF chief of staff during his flight from Washington, and the directive he gave was to continue the attacks inside Gaza.

The official said that there was no agreement to a ceasefire, and that this was a rumor started by Hamas's television station. He said that Israel's last attack was at 3:30 a.m., after which Hamas did not return fire.

“The attacks were very hard on the infrastructure, including the office of [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh,” the official said. He said that the destruction of buildings from the attacks was similar to the way Israel finished Operation Protective Edge in 2015.


Turning to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the official said that it was important because it undermines the argument that it is impossible to hold onto territory captured in war. The recognition shows that it is possible, as long as the territory was acquired in a defensive war, the official said.

During the meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, the prime minister presented the president with a plan to remove Iranian forces from Syria - the same plan he is speaking about with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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