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Netanyahu hails ‘perfect’ operation against Islamic Jihad

The five-day war with the Gaza-based terrorist group “changed the equation” in a warning to Israel's enemies, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about Operation Shield and Arrow on May 9, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about Operation Shield and Arrow on May 9, 2023. Credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised “Operation Shield and Arrow” on the first full day of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire after five days of fighting against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

“The execution was perfect. With a continuous initiative, we thwarted the entire top of the organization and damaged combat equipment that endangered Israel’s security,” the premier remarked at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

“We destroyed 17 jihadist headquarters, eliminated dozens of terrorists, hit rocket and missile depots, thwarted anti-tank squads and more. I would like to thank the members of the security establishment and the citizens of Israel, and especially the residents of the [‘Gaza Envelope’], for the firm stand that allowed us to succeed in the operation. We changed the equation,” Netanyahu said.

The Israel Defense Forces began to ease restrictions on “Gaza Envelope” communities on Sunday following the truce that went into effect at 10 p.m on Saturday, although terrorists continued to fire rockets at Israel and the IDF pounded terrorist targets in the Strip in response for a couple of hours after the ceasefire was supposed to start.

Roadblocks were removed from Israeli communities close to Gaza on Sunday and the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings to the Strip reopened among other measures that marked the beginning of a return to normal life as the tenuous ceasefire took hold.

Netanyahu also had a warning for Israel’s enemies.

“Today, the enemies of Israel and far beyond Gaza know that even if they try to hide, we can and we are willing to reach them at any time. This recognition grew significantly stronger in Operation Shield and Arrow. We changed the equation,” he said.

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