The Israeli government authorized the army to conduct an offensive against the Gaza Strip, including a ground invasion. The implementation of the offensive, according to the army, will be based on whether the resistance in Gaza resumes the firing of shells.The Egyptian government has been actively involved in talks with the Hamas movement in Gaza and with Tel Aviv in an attempt to prevent a new war from taking place in Gaza, and managed to reach a ceasefire deal.
Israeli sources stated that no shells were fired into southern Israel Tuesday, and the army decided to postpone what it called “stepping up its retaliation”.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the Israeli offensive against Gaza will be based “on the severity of Palestinian attacks”.
The army has the green light to operate in Gaza and will not need to wait for another government decision, yet, it will not act unless fighters in Gaza fire shells into Israel, according to an Israeli military source.
Furthermore, the Egyptian Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority stated that Israeli officials assured him that Israel will not operate in Gaza while Egypt is trying to convince all armed groups in the coastal region to halt the firing of mortars and shells.
Twelve Palestinians were killed by Israeli missiles and shells fired by the army into the Gaza Strip since Saturday. Nine of them were fighters of the Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad. One Israeli was killed by Palestinian shells in Asqalan (Ashkelon).
The Israeli army stated it did not carry out any airstrikes since Midnight Monday, adding that Palestinian gunmen fired two shells in the meanwhile, but the army did not retaliate. No shells were fired since Tuesday afternoon.