Ashkenazi at Migdal Haemek school 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
Israel will have to evacuate civilian populations during a future conflict with
Hamas in the Gaza Strip or Hizbullah in Lebanon, IDF Chief of General Staff
Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday.
“In the future, we will not meet
the enemy on the traditional battlefield,” Ashkenazi said. “Hamas chooses to
fight within an urban setting. It could have alternatively chosen to fight in
the open areas.”
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Speaking at the International Conference on Fire and
Combined Arms in an Urban Terrain in Zichron Ya’acov, Ashkenazi said that in a
future conflict the IDF will use ground forces and standoff firepower in
conjunction with one another.
“It would be elegant if we could stop
rocket and missile fire with just standoff firepower,” he said.
is not possible and we will need to combine our capabilities and also to
maneuver on the ground.”
As a result, Ashkenazi said that the IDF was
already working now on creating target banks for future conflicts with Hizbullah
and Hamas, so that the forces will not enter a conflict and need to begin to
look for the enemy, which hides among civilians.
“During the Yom Kippur
War all we had to do was pick up a pair of binoculars and look for the
divisions,” he said. “Nowadays, there are no divisions, and therefore we will
need to make an effort to turn the enemy from asymmetric to
Former deputy chief of staff Maj.- Gen. (res.) Dan Harel
spoke about Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip two years ago and warned that
if Israel prepares for the next round with the same plan it used then, it will
be extremely costly.
“It will not be the same next time,” he said. “We
will need to bring something else.”
As was reported recently in The
Jerusalem Post, Ashkenazi said Tuesday that the IDF was looking into procuring
new accurate rockets to increase the ground forces’ capability to independently
destroy targets with precision and without needing to rely on air
“In a future conflict we will need new weapons systems that are
large enough to destroy targets but are small enough to minimize collateral
damage,” he said.
The IDF’s Planning Division is currently conducting a
review of a procurement plan for new rockets, which needs to be approved by the
General Staff. If it get the okay, it will be inserted into the IDF’s next
multiyear plan, set to go into effect in 2011.
One system under
consideration is Accular, developed by Israel Military Industries, a 160
autonomous surface-to-surface missile guided by a GPS system that
puts it within 10 meters of a target. The rocket, designed to destroy artillery
batteries and infantry command posts, was successfully tested several months ago
in the South.