A masked Palestinian boy holds a toy gun as he takes part in a rally marking the 28th anniversary of Hamas' founding.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir said Wednesday that "Hamas is taking advantage of the relative calm to prepare for a future conflict," according to Channel 10.
Zamir addressed the security situation in the South a day after a Hamas drone was shot down by the IAF over Gaza.
"In the last decade, and since the withdrawal from Gush Katif by the IDF in the Gaza Strip, we have been through three operations," Zamir said at a congress for the Kibbutz movement.
"The last two years have been quiet relative to the last ten years and they are being used to increase Israeli communities," Zamir added.
Zamir also addressed the issue of Hamas and said that the terror group is currently deterred, but is using this period of silence to prepare for a new campaign.
"The IDF will not allow terror organizations, the first being Hamas, to attack Israeli citizens. We do not have any intention of escalating the situation, but we will respond to any attempt to harm [Israel] with the required force," Zamir added.
A Hamas drone was shot down over the Gazan coastline by an Israeli Air Force fighter jet on Tuesday. "The IDF will not permit any violation of its air space, and will act with determination against any such effort," the army stated.
Operation Protective Edge in 2014 was the latest full-scale conflict between Hamas and Israel during the months of July and August.Yaakov Lapin contributed to this article.