January 18th, 2009
IDF Implementing Cabinet’s Decision Regarding Ceasefire
In accordance with the cabinet’s decision to accept the Egyptian proposal and the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, 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 specifics of the ceasefire rules of engagement.
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 seeks 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 ceasefire and the resumption of daily life for the residents of the Gaza Strip.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office reiterates that the IDF began 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 destroyed the daily life of people in the south.
Hamas alone is responsible for creating the situation in Gaza and is accountable for its consequences.