IDF Officials: Study to Resume in Israeli Schools Near Gaza Strip

About 207,000 school children in communities situated 7-40 kilometers from the coastal enclave to return to school after study was called off over recent rocket, mortar attacks.

Studies in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip will resume on Wednesday, military officials indicated, following a ceasefire agreement mediated by Egypt and which came into effect earlier Tuesday.

In a session by top Home Front Command officers, it was decided that the 207,000 students in towns and cities 7-40 kilometers from the coastal enclave would return to school, along with a resumption of classes in Be'er Sheva's Ben-Gurion University.

Iron Dome - Reuters - March 12, 2012
An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Ashdod, March 12, 2012.Reuters

Nearly 200 rockets have exploded in Israeli territory since the latest round of violence between Israel and Gaza broke out on Friday and until the Israel Defense Forces and Gaza militants agreed to cease fire.

Responding to rocket fire, the Israel Air Force carried out 37 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, 19 strikes targeted rocket-launchers and 18 targeted weapons warehouses in response to rocket attacks.

Twenty-six Palestinians were killed as a result of IAF strikes on Gaza. Out of these 22 were militants and 4 were civilians who were in the area of IAF strikes, but were not involved in the rocket fire.

Iron Dome battery - Nir Kafri - March 13, 2012
An Iron Dome battery, March 13, 2012. NIr Kafri

Speaking on Tuesday morning at a Kfir Brigade recruitment ceremony, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that the civilian deaths were the result of Gaza militants operating in civilian areas.

"This is because the enemy operates in civilian areas," he said, adding that the IDF does not use force without cause, and that, depending on developments, "we will know when to use force when it is needed."

"We are following developments in the South, and we will see in the coming hours whether the terrorist organizations stop the fire, and then the IDF will stop its activities accordingly," Gantz said.

"It's not over till it's over. Quiet will be met with quiet, and fire will be met with fire," he said.

The chief of staff said there is still a danger that a terror cell can carry out a "strategic" attack against Israel, adding that, "all of Israel is under a potential threat."