Israel assessing if conditions right for ceasefire: military source

The source added that Israel was evaluating whether its objective of degrading the fighting capacity of Gaza's Hamas rulers had been achieved.

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 14, 2021. Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and air strikes on Friday, May 14, in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave. Picture: ANAS BABA/AFP

TEL AVIV - Israel is assessing whether conditions are right to halt its air campaign against Palestinian militants in Gaza but is preparing for "more days" of strikes if necessary, an Israeli military source said Wednesday.

"We are looking at when is the right moment for a ceasefire," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source added that Israel was evaluating whether its objective of degrading the fighting capacity of Gaza's Hamas rulers had been achieved.

"The question is whether Hamas understands the message" that its rocket barrages towards Israel cannot recur, added the source.

Israel's massive bombardment of Gaza began on 10 May, shortly after Hamas launched rockets towards Jerusalem in response to actions by Israeli police at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site.

The military official said Israel had decided to go beyond narrow retaliation in its response to the Hamas rocket fire.

"We took it as an opportunity to reduce Hamas's capacity," the source said.

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