Israel Political Brief March 12, 2012: IDF official: Army ready for ground operations in Gaza — Iran behind Southern Israel rocket attacks



IDF official: Army ready for ground op in Gaza

Iran encouraging Islamic Jihad to fire rockets at Israel, escalation could prompt ground incursion, senior officer says. IDF hasn’t used all measures at its disposal, he says

Source: YNet News, 3-12-12

Is Gaza war in cards? The current round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups could prompt Israel to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, a senior IDF official said Monday.

The comments were made as Gaza terror groups continued to shell southern Israel communities with dozens of rockets and mortar shells Monday.

Two such rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Ashkelon Monday evening. Military officials said the advanced system shot down 85% of the rockets fired from Gaza in the past four days. Meanwhile, the IDF struck several targets in Gaza, killing at least two terrorists Monday night.

The official said that Iran and the Islamic Jihad’s headquarters in Damascus “are encouraging the terrorist organization to continue the current round of rocket fire until they obtain a significant gain.”

The recent escalation in Israel’s south, which has seen more than a million residents come under heavy rocket fire, has already been described by the IDF as “unprecedented in scope.” According to the senior officer, there is “no end in sight” to the current round of fighting.

“The IDF is prepared for any development, including a situation where we are forced to launch a ground operation,” the IDF official said. “We have everything we need and are ready to step it up if needed. There are many measures that we haven’t employed yet.”

“There is no effective control in Gaza, and no clear distinction between the political and military wings of Hamas… we are prepared to turn it up a notch,” he said….READ MORE

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