Israeli PM says goals achieved as Gaza ceasefire holds

STORY: “All our goals were achieved. The entire senior military command of Islamic Jihad in Gaza was successfully targeted within three days. The strength and ingenuity of the Israel Defense Forces landed a devastating blow to the enemy,” Lapid said in a statement.

Lapid mentioned that the state of Israel will not apologize for using force to keep its citizens safe.

At least 44 people, 15 of them children, were killed in 56 hours of violence that began when Israeli airstrikes hit a senior Islamic Jihad commander. Israel said its action was a pre-emptive strike against an attack the Iranian-backed group had planned.

Hundreds more people were wounded and several houses destroyed in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, sending residents of southern areas and major cities including Tel Aviv fleeing to shelters.

After the fighting ended, both sides sent out a triumphant message.

In a news conference broadcast on the pro-Iranian station Al Mayadeen following the ceasefire late on Sunday, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala declared: "This is a victory."