IDF Spokesperson: Three Years From Protective Edge Have Been Quietest in Gaza Since ‘Days of Samson’
The three years from Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s 51-day military campaign against Gaza Strip-based terror groups in the summer of 2014 — have been the quietest in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave “since the days of Samson,” IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis said in an interview published on Wednesday by the Hebrew news site Walla.
“The fact that Hamas is a deterred organization is proof of the IDF’s capabilities, which are improving all the time,” Manlis stated. “[Hamas] has chosen, rightly, not to deteriorate the situation, but, on the other hand, there is an ongoing security challenge in the Gaza Strip.”
Referring to Gaza at an IAF pilot course graduation ceremony on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We want the local population to live its life quietly and calmly, but the decision as to whether or not there is quiet in Gaza depends, first of all, on Gaza.”
“We will neither allow nor tolerate any escalation on the part of Hamas or any other terrorist element against the State of Israel,” Netanyahu declared. “We will use all means to defend our sovereignty and the security of Israeli citizens.”
According to Israeli media reports, the IDF recently warned top government officials in Jerusalem that while Hamas was not interested in a new round of conflict at this time, the fragility of the situation in Gaza could nevertheless lead to an eruption of violence there at any moment, like three years ago.