Gantz: Most Rockets Fired Manufactured in Gaza
The massive arsenal of rockets fired into Israel during the recent conflict with Hamas “come from Gaza,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told journalists in a briefing on Monday in Jerusalem. The rockets were manufactured there despite assurances after the last Gaza operation that the Israel Defense Forces had cut off Hamas’ ability to build the weapons.
“Israel was pushed into a war it was not interested in, Hamas cynically used the tension in Jerusalem to position itself politically vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority ahead of elections,” Gantz said of Operation Guardian of the Walls. “Like any other country, we couldn’t allow our sovereignty to be violated. We couldn’t allow rocket fire into our capital. Hamas didn’t anticipate our reaction, nor did it anticipate the results. We achieved all of our goals: mainly to neutralize terror threats, while inflicting damage on Hamas’ capacity within Gaza.”
Gantz added that Israel is “committed” to the humanitarian rehabilitation of Gaza, while also expecting to see “reciprocity and desire on the part of the Palestinians to choose a path away from violence and toward resolution.” He added: “We view the Palestinian Authority as a preferable and more moderate partner and are interested in seeing it strengthened in Gaza as well.”
Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Gantz also said that the rocket power seen from Gaza is a mere 8% of what is stockpiled by Hizbullah in Lebanon and recommended that “they continue this way,” referring to the last 15 years of quiet along the northern border.
“We have far greater intelligence vis-à-vis Hizbullah than we did in 2006 and are going to be by far more effective than we were then. I suggest that Lebanon not test us. I hope they won’t because it would take them back years,” he said.