Expect many more rounds of fighting after Gaza war, IDF Northern Command chief warns

Col. Tomer Yifrah, commander of 188 Armored Brigade: The winds of war blew around us recently; we are fully prepared.

An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod (photo credit: REUTERS)
An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel must expect many future rounds of fighting with its enemies, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi has warned.
Speaking to an annual meeting of the 188 Armored Corps Brigade on Sunday, Kochavi, who formerly served as head of Military Intelligence, said Operation Protective Edge – the 50-day war against Hamas last summer – was “one round of fighting, and many more will follow it.” His comments were made available by the army on Monday.
Col. Tomer Yifrah, commander of the 188 Brigade, also spoke at the meeting, and addressed recent security incidents in the North. “Recently, winds of war blew around us, and the brigade is fully prepared.”
Recent training has focused on mental capabilities, Yifrah added. He cited the fact that the brigade won the Ground Forces training award in 2014.
The event was also attended by the head of the IDF’s Storm Formation, Brig.-Gen. Itzik Turgeman. He heads a conscripted armored division that operates under the Northern Command.
The comments came a day after IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Israel’s northern border villages must be better defended against guided missile threats.
Gantz’s comments followed a Hezbollah Kornet missile attack last week on IDF vehicles that were two kilometers away from the Lebanese border, which killed two soldiers.
Hezbollah now has long-range attack capabilities “even from kilometers away,” radically altering the danger it can pose to border villages with virtually no warning, Gantz warned.
Gantz said that in the past one could count on observing movement on the border above ground to anticipate attacks, but that the new long-range capabilities and attack tunnels have changed that.
He added that the northern front could not be allowed to ignite and become a greater threat.
Gantz, who is set to be replaced this month by Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot after his four-year term as IDF chief of staff comes to an end, made the comments at a conference in memory of former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin Shahak at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.