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Israel not striking Gaza in order to give Hamas negotiations a shot – report

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz  and IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi tour the IDF Gaza Divison, on August 17, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi tour the IDF Gaza Divison, on August 17, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

The IDF did not respond militarily to a rocket fired yesterday from Gaza due to sensitive ongoing negotiations with Hamas, reports Channel 12 news.

According to the report, which did not cite a source, there is a possibility of a breakthrough in a deal that will both ensure Qatari funds will enter Gaza and could include the release of Israelis being held by Hamas.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz held meetings at the IDF Gaza Division earlier today. IDF intelligence officials and the Shin Bet reportedly told Bennett and Gantz that they should hold back in responding to the rocket in order to give the negotiations a chance, and they agreed to do so.

The rocket fired yesterday was purportedly launched by Islamic Jihad fighters who were then arrested by Hamas. Hamas then reportedly informed Israel that it was not behind the rocket fire and is not interested in an escalation.

Earlier today, while touring the IDF Gaza Division, Bennett vowed to respond to the rocket fire “on our terms, and not anyone else’s.”

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