Ashkenazi extols 'exceptional results' of Gaza op

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the army's action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. "We have achieved exceptional results in damaging Hamas, its infrastructure and its military wing," Ashkenazi said during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in his Tel Aviv office. Ashkenazi praised IDF troops, who, he said were "doing an extraordinary job," despite the fact that the operation is "very complicated." The chief of staff said that Operation Cast Lead had so far succeeded in greatly reducing the total number of rockets fired at Israeli communities. He reiterated that the army's aim was to bring about the safety and security of residents of the South, and said that the armed forces were "acting in accordance with the plans of the army and the political echelon."