IDF preparing for new campaign in Gaza, says IDF top brass

The IDF spokesperson and chief of staff both said the army was preparing for any challenge, including a new escalation with Hamas. 

By World Israel News Staff

IDF spokesperson Lt. Gen. Ran Kochav said the army was prepared for any scenario, including attacks from the Lebanon and Syria in the north as well as from the Gaza Strip.

In the wake of three recent deadly terror attacks across the country within eight days that claimed 11 lives as well as an attack in Judea that critically wounded one victim, the Israeli security establishment has taken steps to increase protection and preparedness.

The IDF in fact prevented a mass casualty attack in a raid Friday night, killing three Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists.

“This must be a message to our enemies, and I think it was delivered,” Kochav said, praising the troops.

Speaking to Ynet on Sunday, Kochav said that despite the relative quiet on the Gaza border over several months, the IDF was prepared for any challenge, including a repeat of the events of last May, during Ramadan, when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in response to Hamas’s firing of rockets at Israel that reached north of Tel Aviv.

During the 11-day war, unprecedented Arab rioting and attacks on Jews took place in mixed Arab-Jewish cities across the country.

Kochav told Ynet that the challenges facing the IDF in Judea and Samaria are different from those emanating from Gaza.

“The partition fence along the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] is unlike the borders with Gaza or Egypt,” he said.

Approximately 100,000 Palestinians from the PA enter Israel daily for work, and Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria also travel back and forth, he noted.

“Hundreds of farmers and workers cross over from the West Bank daily and in some areas, the fence is not complete and requires an investment in infrastructure. The gunman who carried out the deadly attack in Bnei Brak last week used an opening for farmers and abused our desire to allow a good quality of life for innocent Palestinians,” Kochav told Ynet.

“This is not a border and is certainly not hermetically sealed. There is a joint life and economy. If the government decides that there must be a sealed border there, the IDF will rise to the challenge but for now, our mission is to differentiate between infiltrating terrorists and working civilians,” he said.

‘Operation Guardian of the Walls 2’

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi has also told the army to prepare for another war with Gaza.

Speaking with IDF commanders Sunday night, he discussed the possibility of “Operation Guardian of the Walls 2” — a significant escalation that could last this time for over a month.

Unlike last week’s B’nei Brak massacre that was perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist who was employed in the city, the deadly attacks in Beersheba and Hadera were carried out by ISIS-affilitated Arab citizens of Israel – yet another challenge.

“Once it is the Hamas, which is trying to instigate attacks, other times it is the Islamic Jihad and now we see the involvement of Islamic State. Terror and violence have always united us and made us more resolute to hold on to our land and protect it,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated.

“We will overcome this difficult time. We have the best security forces in the world,” he said.