The IDF chief says that the army is better prepared to confront Hamas, although it is estimated that the Gaza-based terror group has restored its tunnel infrastructure and rocket arsenal to pre-Operation Protective Edge levels.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, responding to the State Comptroller’s negative report on the Israeli defense establishment during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, said that the army is now better prepared for threats emanating from Hamas and other sources, although “not immune to criticism,” Times of Israel reported.
The comptroller’s report accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, along with the IDF’s previous chief of staff, Benny Gantz, of neglecting to make the necessary preparations in response to Hamas’ underground tunnels running into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
During the 2014 operation against Hamas, the IDF discovered and destroyed 34 tunnels.
Since 2014, “the IDF learned its lessons, put together work plans and has been constantly working to improve its operational capabilities on the Gaza Strip-front,” Eisenkot said. “We must remember that these are incredible people who dedicated their lives to the security of Israel and contributed to a better future for the citizens of the country and its residents,” according to the Times.
As deputy chief of staff during the 2014 war, Eisenkot “saw up close IDF soldiers and officers in the ground, air and sea… with Benny Gantz leading them, working day and night to achieve combat goals and bring security back to our country.”
Nevertheless, Hamas has since built at least 15 tunnels extending into Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Sunday, quoting members of the government’s security cabinet. The terror group has been pouring resources into rebuilding its terror infrastructure and is believed to have spent some $40 million of its $100 million military budget on tunnel construction.
It is estimated that Hamas digs around six miles of tunnels every month. A senior IDF official recently told Channel 2 that Hamas has restored its tunnel infrastructure and rocket arsenal to pre-war levels.
By: World Israel News Staff
With files from The Tower