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Israel Warns Hamas Over Gaza Rocketing

Israel Warns That More Rocketing From Gaza May Trigger Major IDF Counter-Attack

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz: 'After Fall of Gadaffi Regime, Libyan Weapons May Have Been Smuggled Into Gaza'

IsraCast Assessment: Israel Has Given Hamas Notice That She Will Not Tolerate More Missiles From Gaza That Paralyzes Life In Southern Israel

Hamas Terrorists in the Gaza Strip

 Israel's patience is wearing thin after repeated rocket attacks from Gaza have paralyzed much of southern Israel and forced over one million Israeli civilians into their bomb shelters for days on end. This was the message from IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz in a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Later the IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, told reporters that only 'an intiated and planned IDF operation' could put a stop to the Palestinian rocketing of Israeli civilians. David Essing has this assessment of the current calm that may prove to be the quiet before the storm, if the Palestinian decide to launch more missiles into Israel.

 Israel's patience has worn very thin with the sporadic Palestinian rocketing from Gaza. Since taking office over two years ago, the Netanyahu government has adopted a 'zero tolerance' policy to the rocketing by launching, within twenty- four hours, pin-point air strikes at terrorist targets. Although this at times sparked flareups, it has not stemmed the Palestinian provocations. On the contrary, it has become apparent the Palestinians are ready to live with this tit-for-tat state of affairs, in order to harass the Jewish state. Israel is no longer prepared to accept such a situation that enables the Palestinians, whenever they see sit, to terrorize most of the Israeli population in the south.

'Repeated rounds of Palestinian rocketing from Gaza point to need for significant IDF operation'

After IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz briefed the Knesset committee, his spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordedchai, elaborated to reporters that Israel was close to launching an operation to halt the rocketing. He said: 'The recent rounds of Palestinian escalation and the damage inflicted on Israeli lives and the daily life of our civilians in the south, point to the need for the IDF to a significant offensive operation'. This military appraisal emanates for cabinet deliberations after the latest rocketing salvoes in October. IsraCast quotes Vice Premier Silvan Shalom as saying the Israeli government was 'very close' to giving the green light for such an operation. Shalom also left no doubt that Israel was no longer ready to tolerate the sporadic rocketing of her civilians and would, if necessary, launch a major counter- strike against Gaza.

Benny Gantz

Now the Chief of Staff's comments have put the Hamas regime in Gaza on notice; Israel will not respond with retaliatory surgical air strikes, but far more. Moreover, Gen. Gantz inserted another factor into the terrorist buildup. After the fall of the Gadaffi regime the assessment was that Libyan army weapons have been smuggled into Gaza. Not only Hamas, but all the terror organizations were continuing their buildup, so much so that Hamas was concerned about the growing strength of its rival, Islamic Jihad. On the other hand, there there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. A senior IDF intelligence office reported that in recent months some ten-thousand trucks have transported supplies from Israel into Gaza.

'On West Bank, IDF still enjoys good security cooperation with Palestinian Security Forces'

West Bank: Despite the ongoing vendetta with Gaza, the IDF enjoyed 'good security cooperation' with Palestinian security forces in Judea & Samaria. However Gen. Gantz said the recent tension in September, over President Mahmoud Abbas's diplomatic move at the UN, may leave its imprint. Abbas realized his gambit for Palestinian recognition in the Security Council had ended in failure and he would now seek the lower level recognition by the General Assembly. But 'September was not a date but a process' and Palestinian disappointment could eventually lead to violence on the West Bank. On the other hand, if the High Court rules against Israeli outposts, the IDF is preparing to dismantle them.

Gilad Shalit: After the prisoner exchange to retrieve Sgt.Gilad Shalit, the possibility of another kidnapping still existed. However Gen. Gantz clarified that the IDF would not cut back on its operational ojectives for fear of abductions. Due to the absence of intelligence that would have made possible a rescue operation, there had been no alternative but to accept the swap. Was Gilad Shalit a hero? Not in the ethos of the IDF's fighting spirit said Gen.Gantz but he added that he was a hero for enduring the conditions of his more than five years of captivity (in total violation of all his human rights).

David Essing

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