Israel said to have ordered its army to cease operations before Eurovision


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government ordered the army to “achieve the necessary operational goals” in this weekend’s fighting with Hamas before Independence Day and Eurovision, Haaretz reported Monday.

Independence Day is Thursday and Eurovision, the annual international song contest, is slated to begin next week in Tel Aviv.

While Hamas and Islamic Jihad were said to be ready to reach a cease-fire on Sunday, the Israeli paper reported, the army felt it was important to show that it was willing to continue fighting despite the two events.

At the height of the violence, a number of senior Israeli officials declared publicly that concerns about Eurovision would not deter them from hitting Hamas hard.

The cease-fire was in place by Monday morning and it appeared the situation had largely returned to normal.

Over the course of the weekend, Hamas launched nearly 700 rockets at Israel, killing four people and injuring many more. As of Monday, 25 Palestinians were reported dead by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

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