Monday, January 19, 2009

IDF Implementing Cabinet's Decision Regarding Holding of Fire

January 18th, 2009


IDF Implementing Cabinet's Decision Regarding Holding of Fire


In accordance with the cabinet's decision to accept the Egyptian proposal and the announcement regarding the holding of Israeli fire, the IDF is currently taking the necessary measures to implement the decision.


The cabinet's decision was made after the IDF achieved the objectives it set for Operation Cast Lead, chiefly dealing the Hamas terror organization a heavy blow to its infrastructure, weaponry stockpiles, rocket launching program and its terror operatives.


As the decision goes into effect, the commander of the operation, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will order the redeployment of IDF forces within the Gaza Strip in accordance with security assessments.


Furthermore, the forces will be briefed on the specific rules of engagement regarding the holding of fire. The IDF emphasizes that its forces will respond to any attack against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and that any such attack will be met with a harsh response.


The IDF stresses that the current Home Front Command safety instructions to residents of southern Israel remain in effect in light of the possibility that the rocket fire will continue as Hamas cynically seek to "have the last word."


As ordered by IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and Maj. Gen. Galant, the operation has not yet ended, and the IDF's air, naval, ground and intelligence forces will remain alert so as to be ready for any situation.


The IDF will continue to assess the situation and emphasizes that it sees Hamas as responsible for the stability of the holding of fire and the resumption of routine life for the residents of the Gaza Strip.


The IDF Spokesperson's Office reiterates that the IDF was sent to this operation following an extended period of restraint as Hamas continued to terrorize the residents of southern Israel with daily rocket barrages against towns and villages that impacted terribly on the daily life of people in the south of Israel.


Hamas alone is responsible for creating the situation in Gaza and is accountable for its consequences.