“Indeed, the summer here is hot. Autumn will follow and the fields will turn green. … There will be stability here for many years to come,” Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Wednesday, referring to the return to normalcy in Israel’s south following the cease-fire that took effect Tuesday morning.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the IDF Homefront Command instructed citizens to return to their normal routines throughout the country. But the directive was accompanied by a warning that, “If you hear an air raid siren or the sound of an explosion, enter a protected area within the designated amount of time for your region.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Kfar Aza, a kibbutz situated near the Gaza border, and spoke with residents who had stayed there despite the conflict.
“The things we have experienced prevent us from living normal lives,” said Orit, a community leader on the kibbutz, according to Israel Hayom.
Rivlin urged all residents of Israel’s south to return home.
“I am calling out today to all residents: Go back to your homes,” he said. “The Israel Defense Forces are here, protecting you with their lives. In the future we will see just how important Operation Protective Edge was.”