In a speech on Tuesday morning, IDF Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizenkot addressed the challenges awaiting the IDF and the current situation on Israel’s fronts. Eizenkot said groups “under an Iranian umbrella” are operating in Gaza and along Israeli borders and warned against “irresponsible” declarations calling for a full military response in the Gaza Strip.

Gadi Eizenkot

Gadi Eizenkot Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

IDF Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizenkot addressed the tensions with Gaza in a speech on Tuesday morning concerning the challenges that await the IDF in the upcoming year. Eizenkot said that declarations calling for the IDF to attack at full throttle in response to rocket fire from Gaza are irresponsible.

Eizenkot clarified that Gaza is a densely populated area that is filled with Iranian-sponsored rogue terror groups who are attempting to drag Israel into a military campaign in the Gaza Strip. The Chief of Staff said the IDF only attacks terror targets and has only ever done so. “We do not accept the launch of a sole rocket. We respond in varying intensity,” Said Eizenkot. “We are on high alert.”

During his speech, Eizenkot said that the IDF has the best tools in its arsenal to be used if needed. However, the general clarified that Gaza is experiencing difficult times, with a rapidly-worsening humanitarian crisis and unemployment rates of 47% that is deterring Hamas from escalation. It is also causing Hamas to work towards a reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority.

Rocket launched from Gaza (archive)

Rocket launched from Gaza (archive) Photo Credit: EPA

With regards to the situation in the West Bank, Eizenkot said that Israel has successfully stabilized the region without causing further escalation. “We knew how to separate between terror and the population,” said Eizenkot, explaining that around 70 thousand Palestinians from the West Bank worked within Israel in 2017. Eizenkot also adressed Iran and said that all of Israel’s fronts are “under an Iranian umbrella.” The regime is sponsoring Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, among others, Eizenkot said.