Israel holds off on Gaza operation at Egypt's request

IDF delays operation to stem rocket fire due to efforts by Cairo to give an additional 24 hours to cease fire efforts, 'Post' learns.

By
November 1, 2011 19:12
1 minute read.
Police officiers remove the remains of Grad rocket

Police officiers remove the remains of a Grad rocket 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

 
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Israel delayed a military operation in the Gaza Strip to stem Palestinian rocket fire after Egypt requested giving an additional 24 hours to cease-fire efforts, The Jerusalem Post learned on Tuesday.

Although Tuesday was almost entirely free of rockets, terrorists in Gaza fired a projectile into Israel in the evening.

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The rocket exploded in open territory, in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported, but the rocket served as a reminder that Egypt’s attempts to halt the attacks had not been fully achieved.

A small jihadi-terror cell in Gaza – and not Islamic Jihad – behind a wave rockets on southern Israel on Monday night, the defense community believes.

Irrespective of that evaluation, defense sources stressed that Israel views Hamas as being responsible for all attacks out of Gaza, and had intended on launching an operation that would have been significantly wider in scope than the pinpoint strikes against terror cells seen until now.

Shortly before the operation was due to go ahead, Egypt asked Israel to pause for a final effort at getting Gazan terror organizations to halt the rocket attacks. Egyptian officials held rounds of talks with Palestinian factions in Gaza aimed at achieving calm.

Israel does not recognize any cease-fire with terror groups in Gaza, but it is observing developments on the ground and formulating its military response accordingly, defense sources added.

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Israel is prepared to go ahead with a more forceful response should the rockets resume, the sources said. That response could involve ground forces, some reports said.

On Monday, terrorists fired six rockets at Israel. One Grad was intercepted over Beersheba.

Other rockets fell south of Ashkelon, as well as in agricultural areas in the western Negev.

No injuries or damages were reported.

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