Operation Breaking Dawn: ‘The first time residents of the south felt seen’

“This time, the government was proactive and not reactive.” 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Operation Breaking Dawn was the first time that residents of the Gaza envelope felt seen by Israel’s government because it was the first military campaign that was proactive, an Israel woman living in Sderot told Israel’s Kan Public Radio on Monday.

“This [military] campaign was different than those before it because it was the first time Israel initiated it,” Liat Suissa told Kan.

“For once, we weren’t doing things according to Hamas’ timetable,” she added.

Asked if she thought the 66-hour campaign achieved its goals, Suissa admitted that she doesn’t follow the news.

“I stay away from the news in times like this,” she said, noting that she had gone with her family to stay in Jerusalem on the second day of Operation Breaking Dawn. “But I know that this time, the government was proactive and not reactive.”

“As residents of the south, we felt seen,” she added.

Israeli officials said it launched the campaign because Islamic Jihad was planning a deadly attack against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers by launching an anti-tank guided missile aimed at killing civilians and soldiers.

“We hit and foiled the chain of command [who attempted to] execute this attack,”  Major General Oded Basiuk told reporters on Saturday. “The entire leadership of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing in Gaza were [hit].”

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The campaign was unique because it marked the first time that Hamas, the Gaza-ruling terror group, did not join the fray.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told a group of mayors from Gaza envelope communities on Sunday night that Israel had “achieved its goals” in the operation and that there was little benefit to continuing. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was called at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday but was broken minutes later by a volley of rockets fired by Islamic Jihad operatives. However, the ceasefire appeared to hold after that.

Security restrictions on Israeli communities surrounding Gaza were gradually lifted, and the Erez humanitarian crossing between Gaza and Israel was reopened on Monday morning.

About 1,100 rockets were launched by the Iran-backed Gaza terror group, Islamic Jihad. Two-hundred of them misfired and fell within the coastal enclave, in some cases, killing children. Ninety-seven percent of the projectiles that were headed for civilian areas inside of Israel were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. More than 100 Israeli properties were damaged by rocket fire, but there were no reported casualties.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health reported that 35 people were killed during the operation, 26 of whom were uninvolved in terrorist activities. Of those, 15 were killed by errant Islamic Jihad rockets, the army said.