In his first public statement since the close of the three-day military operation against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Yair Lapid reaches out to the residents of Gaza, offering them a different path going forward.
In a statement to the nation after the end of 66 hours of fighting, Lapid says all Israel’s targets in the operation were achieved and Israel’s deterrence has been restored.
But he also turns to the residents of Gaza and tells them it can be very different if they reject violence.
“During the entire operation, a special effort was made to prevent harming those not involved. The State of Israel will not apologize for protecting its residents using force, but the death of innocents, especially children, is heartbreaking,” Lapid says in the prime-time address.
“I want to address the residents of Gaza and tell them: there is another way. We will know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to give work and livelihood and a life of dignity to everyone who wants to live in peace by our side,” Lapid says.
“There is another way to live. The path of Abraham Accords, of the Negev summit, of innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects. The choice is yours. Your future depends on you,” Lapid says.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, which sat out Operation Breaking Dawn. Rather, Israel operated against Islamic Jihad, which Lapid says posed a concrete terror threat.