March 26, 2019 2:15 am
Israeli aircraft bombed targets across the Gaza Strip and Gaza terrorists fired rockets into Israel early Tuesday, the second day of cross-border fighting. Hamas announced a cease-fire had been brokered by Egyptian mediators, but the cross-border strikes continued into early Tuesday.
Schools are closed in Gaza border communities as well as in Ofakim, Netivot, Ashkelon, the Merchavim Regional Council, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Gan Yavne, the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, the Bnei Shimon Regional Council and Be’er Sheva, some in line with IDF Homefront Command directives and in some cases, like Be’er Sheva, the mayor decided to “play it safe” in light of a night of warfare between southern Israel and Gaza.
A tense quiet prevails in southern Israel as the last siren was heard during the predawn hours, at approximately 3:15 AM, and now there is yet another Hamas-declared cease-fire. Complicating the life of Gaza area residents is also the fact that if schools are closed, parents with small children have to decide who will miss today’s work and remain home with the children.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu scheduled to arrive back in Israel some time Tuesday afternoon, March 26, 2019, and in messages from the United States prior to concluding his official White House visit, the Prime Minister said “I am now returning from an historic visit to Washington. President Trump’s recognition of our sovereignty over the Golan Heights will be remembered for generations.
“There is a very important principle in international life – when you start wars of aggression, you lose territory; do not come and claim it afterwards. It belongs to us. We have historic foundations on the Golan Heights. When you dig there, you discover magnificent synagogues, which we are restoring.
“We have returned to the Golan; the Golan is ours. The Golan is ours by historic right and by right of self-defense, and President Trump recognizes this. That you are not covering this for more than a minute, is something you will be called to account for. However, in historical reckoning this is huge.”
The Prime Minister added: “I am taking this plane quickly in order to return home and go directly to the Defense Ministry. We are dealing with the security matters.
“We have responded very, very forcefully. Hamas needs to know that we will not hesitate to go in and take all necessary steps – regardless of anything, any date, other than Israel’s security needs.”
It was clear to all that the Israel Air Force was going to retaliate after the Monday morning rocket attack into the Sharon region, striking and destroying a home in Moshav Mishmeret. Retaliatory assault began on Monday at 5:30 PM and Israel pounded terrorist targets, including Hamas offices and facilities and storage facilities for longer-range rockets, like the one that struck Mishmeret. Hamas however did not remain silent and barrages of rockets were directed at Israeli communities.
Municipalities and cities around southern Israel opened their bomb shelters, and once again, while some were instructed to do so, others decided to play it safe. Shelters were opened from Rishon L’Tzion to
Prior to boarding the plane to head back to Tel Aviv after cutting his US trip short due to the security situation, Mr. Netanyahu told reporters that Israel will retaliate as required, without hesitation. He had words of praise for US President Donald Trump and America’s decision to recognize the Golan Heights being under Israeli sovereignty, which is Israel’s “by our historic right as well as security defensive needs”.
Upon his return from the USA, Netanyahu will head directly for the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv for a high-level security briefing.
One of the targets struck was Ismail Haniyeh’s office, the former Gaza prime minister and now Hamas politburo head. Israel reports his office has been leveled. The five-story building used by Hamas’ Internal Security Service was also destroyed, leveled to rubble.
Hamas on Tuesday morning announced it is now waiting for the Egyptian negotiator to broker an official ceasefire. For now, Gaza area residents are instructed to remain close to their bomb shelters and safe rooms.
Source: (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Media Resource Group)