July 24, 2024

Local officials from southern Israel called for a stronger response to the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip amid reports that Israel and Hamas were headed towards a cease of the current round of clashes.

The head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, Tamir Aidan, expressed outrage at reports that Israel and Hamas were headed towards calming the situation, stating “The measured response of the security forces last night does not restore deterrence and sends a bad message to the terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon!”

“I hope and want to believe that this reaction is the result of the totality of the circumstances at this time and I expect the political echelon to choose the timing as soon as possible and initiate decisive and painful action against the leaders of the terrorist organizations, including targeted assassinations in order to restore deterrence and create a different reality according to which the one who determines the agenda of the State of Israel in general and the surrounding settlements in particular is the State of Israel and not the terrorist organizations,” said Aidan.

The mayor of Sderot, Alon Davidi, called on the government to act to restore deterrence on Friday, stating “Our Passover holiday was violated by the murderous terrorists who are trying in every way to harm us.”

“The Israeli government should do everything necessary to restore peace to all the settlements as well as the deterrence that unfortunately has disappeared. We will continue to accompany our dear residents and provide all the assistance required during Shabbat and the holiday. I ask the residents to continue to adhere to the guidelines and stay near protected areas. Observing the guidelines saves lives.”

On Friday morning, the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site reported that sources familiar with Egyptian mediation efforts expected a gradual calm to begin within a matter of hours, as both sides did not express a real desire to enter a larger confrontation.

UNIFIL also stated on Friday morning that both Israel and Lebanon had said that they are not interested in a conflict.