Sunday, July 3rd | 4 Tammuz 5782

February 8, 2021 1:34 pm

IDF Chief of Staff: We Are Operating in Enemy Territory ‘Almost Every Week’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi delivers a statement to the press at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Nov. 12, 2019. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said Monday that Israel is operating “almost every week” in enemy territory, Israeli news site N12 reported.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of an IDF helicopter accident that killed 73 soldiers, Kochavi said, “In the past year, almost every week, we have operated deep in enemy territory to destroy weapons aimed at or intended for an attack on the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Noting that the past year has seen an extremely low death toll among Israeli soldiers and civilians, as well as “quiet on the borders,” Kochavi asserted, “This is the result of hard work in all branches” that goes on “360 degrees around us 24/7.”

“We prevented infiltrations in the north and south, thwarted rocket fire, exposed many tunnels along the Gaza border, foiled terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria on a daily and weekly basis,” he said.

A year-end report from the IDF released in Dec. 2020 revealed an increase in terrorist activity in the West Bank from 2019, although at levels less than in prior years. It also claimed that 93% of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at populated areas last year were intercepted.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also spoke at the Monday ceremony, emphasizing that “the IDF is operating and will continue to operate on the border and far beyond.”

He pledged that the army will continue to fight against Iranian aggression and Iran’s Lebanese proxy, the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The terror group’s entrenchment in civilian areas, said Gantz, “endangers it and the citizens of the Lebanese state.”

“If a front is opened in the north, it will be the Lebanese state that pays the heaviest price for the weapons dispersed in civilian concentrations,” he said.

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