During the ceremonial cabinet meeting held in Sdeh Boker on Monday, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that aside from the optimism that the ceasefire will hold, the terror groups must understand that Israel did not take a timeout.
“There is still a readiness level to respond in certain situations. Aside from the ceasefire I will not rest on my laurels and will continue to defend our citizens,” Peretz said.
Peretz said during the meeting that during the first hours of the ceasefire, 10 Kassam rockets were fired, and the attacks ended by noon. “Up until this moment there is a commitment to uphold the ceasefire. The violations and Kassam fire was done by the Islamic Jihad. The deployment of Abbas’ forces is an important test for us. The deployment must be around the launching areas in order to prevent rocket fire. I have ordered the Israel Defense Forces to prepare coordination teams to work out the deployment with the Palestinian forces, and the meaning of the operation by Abbas’ forces is the exclusion of Hamas.”
Peretz added that it is impossible to ignore the situation where the chairman of the Palestinian Authority has taken it upon himself to act, in opposition to Hamas which Israel does not have contact with. “Abbas’ latest moves give us hope, but I am not in euphoria. We are assessing the situation and acting with proper caution. The pressure the IDF has been exerting over the past few weeks contributed to the fact that the terror organizations arrived at the ceasefire on their own,” Peretz said.