"Over the last two days we struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force. We hit over 350 targets. We struck at terrorist leaders and operatives and we destroyed terrorist buildings. The campaign is not over and it demands patience and sagacity. We are prepared to continue. The goal has been – and remains – ensuring quiet and security for the residents of the south", the prime minister said, as quoted by his office on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, media reported that the Palestinian Authority and Israel had reached a ceasefire agreement, which was set to start on Monday morning, with Tel Aviv not commenting on the veracity of the report. However, the Israeli Defence Forces said on Monday that safety restrictions imposed on the country's southern areas had been lifted.
Tensions between Israel and the enclave escalated on 4 May, when hundreds of rockets were fired in the direction of Israel from the Gaza Strip, prompting the Israeli military to retaliate. The Israeli Defence Forces said later that a total of 690 rockets had been launched from Gaza over the past 48 hours, with 240 of them intercepted by air defence systems.
The Gaza border area has been a scene of violent clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli military since last March, when the Palestinians started a campaign, called the Great March of Return. Since then, each week on Friday, thousands of Palestinian protesters gather at the border of the Gaza Strip and the tensions often rapidly increase into clashes with Israeli troops.