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(photo credit: AP)
The IDF is prepared to act with all its might in order to restore security to the South, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Thursday.
"Just a few kilometers away, the Hamas terror organization is disrupting the daily routine of southerners by firing dozens of rockets and trying to instill fear into our citizens, our women and our children," Ashkenazi said at an IAF pilots graduation ceremony in Hatzerim.
"The current situation cannot continue and we will need to use all our might to hit the terror infrastructure and to create a new secure situation around the Gaza Strip," he continued.
He said that the IDF, together with the IAF as a central component of its might, "are ready and prepared" to carry out any operation that will be required to defend Israel against terror.
"We will act with wisdom, the correct considerations and responsibilityâ€¦until calm and quiet are restored," he said.
The chief of staff spoke a day after some 80 rockets and mortar shells fired by Gaza terrorists hit the western Negev.
Rocket attacks continued Thursday with four Kassams and a mortar shell hitting the South, causing damage but no casualties.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak also spoke at the ceremony, during which the fifth Hanukka candle was lit.
"We must remember those who are not here with us to light the Hanukka candle," said Barak. "Mainly, those who gave their lives for the defense of the homeland and our captive sons and those missing in action, among them IAF navigator Ron Arad and combat soldier Gilad Schalit."
Barak said that "we will not rest" until they are returned home.
Earlier Thursday, Barak warned that terrorists in the Gaza Strip would pay a "heavy price" if they continued to target Israel. Barak insisted that "we will not accept this situation... Whoever harms the citizens and soldiers of Israel will pay a heavy price," he said.
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