Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with heads of local authorities in the South on Thursday afternoon and vowed to strengthen residents of southern Israel. "Blood was shed here," he said in Beersheba as he expressed his condolences to families who lost their loved ones during the seven-week operation. He said his commitment to the South and its security "was deep," and told local leaders they were "a huge part of this effort," thanking them for their support and cooperation."We live in a volatile region," he continued. "But we are not alone, we have the backing of many countries." He called the past 50 days "a difficult battle against the terror group Hamas, its sponsor Iran and the financial world power, Qatar.