The Gaza offensive is not over yet, an Israeli military official said on Sunday morning. The Israeli Minister of defense, Shaul Mofaz gave a detailed account of the operation in the Gaza Strip in a government meeting, saying that the army is still on full alert.

Apparently, the Israeli army has scaled down its attacks especially the artillery shelling and the air strikes.  No strikes have been carried out since Thursday.

Palestinian resistance groups declared their commitment to the calm and said they will halt their attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, few days before Israel halted its air strike, which killed four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.  Israeli invasions to Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank killed more than six Palestinians.

 

Israel accused Hamas of using the policy of doublespeak, by saying it is committed to calm, and at the same time fire home-made Qassam shells at Israeli targets.

Hamas, on the other hand, said its commitment to calm does not mean that it looses the right to respond to Israeli attacks.

The Israeli military operation, called “First Rain” was launched one day after the Palestinian factions in Gaza agreed to end the publics display of weapons.

The operation included shelling civilian areas in the Gaza Strip and arresting hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, many of which were running for the local elections held in some areas in the West Bank.

Fatah had a much better showing in this stage, if compared with the first two stages.  The ruling party won more than 50 percent of the seats, whereas Hamas won around 20%, while the rest where swept by other factions.

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