Israel has accomplished its mission, prime minister reportedly says — Analysis

Yair Lapid apparently announced the wind-down of Israel’s offensive on Gaza as ceasefire talks continue

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told municipal leaders that the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) military operation in Gaza has achieved its objectives and would be wound down, local media reported. Lapid continued to speak as the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which were brokered by Egypt, went on.

The prime minister told the group of local officials from Israel’s southern regions that Operation Breaking Dawn has achieved its goals over three days of aerial bombardment of Gaza, media reported, citing a source present at the talks. Lapid said, reportedly that it was futile to continue the mission.

The operation began Friday morning with an attack on Taysir Al-Jabari’s home. It resulted not only in the destruction and loss of PIJ warehouses, rocket sites, observation posts, or storage areas, but also the death of many of the PIJ operatives including Khaled Mansour, another commander. 

Leadership of Gaza’s Islamic Jihad eliminated – Israel

On Saturday night, Major General Oded Basiuk (head of IDF Operations Directorate) told reporters that Mansour had died following his death. “essentially all of the senior officials of Gaza’s Islamic Jihad have been eliminated.”

The PIJ retaliated and launched rocket salvos. According to the Israeli military, approximately 500 of these rockets reached Gaza. Iron Dome, the missile defense system that protects Israel from attack by missiles, intercepted 97%.

Palestinian officials say that 31 people have been killed in Gaza since Friday – among them six children – while 265 have been wounded. Israel denies responsibility for nine deaths. This was due to a Palestinian rocket which crashed shortly after launch. None of the Israelis who died have been killed.

Egyptian mediators held negotiations on Sunday between Israeli and PIJ officials. AFP received confirmation from PIJ that the officials were present at talks. Egyptian sources also confirmed that Israel had agreed to a ceasefire proposal. An announcement of a ceasefire is anticipated for Sunday night.

Prior to Lapid’s meeting, the IDF said on Saturday that it was prepared for a “week of fighting.”

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