Benny Gantz, helicopter_311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office)
The IDF will launch an operation to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians
in the South under the threat of rockets if it is forced to do so, Chief of
Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned Sunday.
Rocket explodes next to kindergarten in south
'IDF will be forced to attack Gaza if rockets resume'
“If we don’t have a choice,
we’ll know how to operate in Gaza, and when it happens, we will initiate an
orderly and painful [operation],” Gantz said while touring a Golani Brigade
base, according to Israel Radio.
Israel called off a military operation,
which would have included ground forces aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket
fire at the start of the month, due to an Egyptian request to give cease-fire
efforts a chance.
Gantz’s comments form the second time in as many weeks
that he sounded a warning over a possible operation to end the rocket attacks
“The IDF will need to [embark on] a significant offensive
operation in the Gaza Strip,” he said last week during a Knesset Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee meeting.
He emphasized the need for Israel to
choose the timing of the offensive rather than be dragged into it by terrorist
There was an upsurge in rocket attacks on southern cities
last month. Two civilians were killed, and residential areas in Ashdod and
Beersheba were damaged.