'IAF, intelligence succeeded against Gaza terror'

Southern Command satisfied with surgical strikes on rocket-launching crews, low number of Palestinian civilian casualties.

Smoke rises after an IAF airstrike in Gaza 311 (R) (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Smoke rises after an IAF airstrike in Gaza 311 (R)
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Close cooperation between the air force, the IDF’s Southern Command, and the intelligence services led to one successful strike after another against Gazan terrorist targets during the recent round of violence, the Southern Command said on Thursday.
The comments came after an examination by the Southern Command into its performance during the five-day period of escalation.
Islamic Jihad, which led the firing of rockets at southern Israel, and Hamas, which sat on the sidelines, are more deterred by the IDF now than before the escalation, according to the findings.
Additionally, a senior officer from the Gaza Division said the relatively low casualty rate among Palestinian noncombatants was made possible by surgical strikes on rocket-launching crews that were carefully assessed beforehand. His comments were made available in a report by the IDF Spokesman’s Office.
Keeping strikes away from Palestinian noncombatants is important to the IDF, the officer said, adding that decision-makers “thought twice before every attack” to ensure civilian safety.
“We succeeded in coming full circle and hit rocket and mortar-launching squads before they attacked, or afterwards in a short period of time,” a senior officer said.
“Our attacks were better [than previous rounds] from an overall view.
We succeeded in locating terrorists and thwarting their activities,” he added.
The officer described the damage sustained by Islamic Jihad as being “significant.”
Although he acknowledged that a large number of rockets were fired into Israel, those behind the rockets were hit on many occasions, the officer said. “We will be even better prepared for the next escalation,” he added.