Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz release coordinated statements to say that the three-day-long Operation Breaking Dawn will continue as long as required.
“The operation will continue as long as necessary,” Lapid says.
“The IDF, the Shin Bet and security forces will continue to act against Islamic Jihad until we restore peace and remove the threat to children [living in the Gaza border region],” adds Gantz.
Residents of southern Israel have absorbed the brunt of the nearly 500 rockets fired from Gaza since Friday, and many have been in a security lockdown since mid-last week.
The premier and defense minister also comment on the Saturday strike targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s southern Gaza commander.
Khaled Mansour is the second senior Islamic Jihad figure killed since Friday, when Israel opened the campaign with a strike against the organization’s northern Gaza commander, Tayseer Jabari.
Both Lapid and Gantz praise the IDF, Shin Bet, and security forces for what Lapid calls the “extraordinary achievement” of killing Mansour.
In addition to promises to continue the assault against Islamic Jihad targets and operatives, Lapid says that Israeli forces are attentive to minimizing civilian casualties in Gaza.
“We are acting in a targeted and responsible manner in order to minimize harm to those not involved,” the prime minister says.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry in the Strip, 29 people have been killed since the start of Operation Breaking Dawn, including six children. Israel says many of those killed were operatives from the Islamic Jihad terror group.