Two Qassam rockets fired from Gaza exploded in the Sha’ar Hanegev farming region in the south on Tuesday evening. One rocket slammed into a storage house adjacent to a kindergarten in a kibbutz. A structure sustained damage in the attack, though fortunately there were no injuries. A second projectile fell in open territory.
Earlier on Tuesday, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz told the KnessetForeign Affairs and Defense Committee that the IDF will be forced to launch an offensive if rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip continue to be launched into southern Israel. He added that Israel must take the initiative.
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In the next round of fighting, Gantz added, “we will need to shorten the length of fighting as much as possible,” noting that speed is dependent on quality intelligence and quick action.
The IDF chief also addressed preparations made ahead of the Palestinian UN statehood bid in September, warning that “September is no just a date but a process. The preparations are not behind us yet.”
The potential for disappointment over the failure of the statehood bid, Gantz added, means that there is still a danger violence could break out in the West Bank.
Gantz told Knesset committee that along the southern border with Egypt, the army has increased its preparations in light of increased terror threats coming from the Sinai Peninsula.
The IDF’s role along the western part of the Israeli-Egyptian border, Gantz said, has changed from being prepared to deal with infiltrators to now being prepared for terrorism.
Discussing the ongoing construction of a fence along the Egyptian border, the IDF chief told committee members that 30 contractors are employing 400 workers to accelerate construction of the fence. Seventy kilometers have already been built, and Gantz said he gave orders that the fence be completed by the end of next year.