Southern Command chief: Cast Lead brought calm to western Negev

Operation Cast Lead brought calm to the western Negev, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant said Wednesday evening. During an inauguration ceremony for new structures in the IDF's Gaza Division, Galant said, "The last half-a-year has been the quietest in 15 years." He added that sapper activity in the area had dropped to two or three percent since Cast Lead. "The preparation for the operation was organized and the coordination with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) was unprecedented," he added. "Also, cooperation between the land, sea and air forces brought about results." The Southern Command chief also hailed combat troops. "The soldiers on the ground didn't lack anything. They displayed determination, a fighting spirit and comradeship, which also had a positive effect on the home front," he said.