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'No single Gaza ruler.' Russo Photo: Eliad Levy
'No single Gaza ruler.' Russo Photo: Eliad Levy
 
 

IDF general: Gaza truce fragile

Southern Command chief Russo says 'insubordinate elements' in Hamas-ruled territory have not accepted ceasefire with Israel; adds there is no 'magic solution' to rocket fire

Ilana Curiel
Published: 03.14.12, 14:14 / Israel News

IDF Southern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo admitted Wednesday that the army does not know how long the ceasefire with terrorists in Gaza would last.

 

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"We are preparing for the possibility that the calm will be violated," he said during a visit to a high school in Omer, near Beersheba.

 

Russo said there were "disobedient elements" in Gaza that have not accepted the agreed-upon truce that followed a few days of incessant rocket attacks on Israel and numerous IDF aerial strikes in the Hamas-ruled territory.

 

"I don’t know how long it will last," Russo said of the Egypt-brokered truce, which has already been violated by Palestinian terrorists a number of times. "There are many factions and organizations in Gaza."

 

The general said that in the latest round of violence the army "did not use all the means at its disposal," adding "those who think there is a switch that turns the rocket fire from Gaza on and off are mistaken. There is no magic solution.

 

"There may be a situation whereby we will be forced to launch a broader operation. There is no single entity that rules Gaza and can give the order to halt the rocket fire. There are defiant elements there. I'm not saying the calm surprises me, but anything can happen," Russo said.

 

Addressing claims that the military's response was too soft, the general said "being the more aggressive side does not always yield the expected results. Another round (of violence) will not bring an absolute solution. We will continue to make every effort so that daily life in the south is not disrupted."

 

According to Russo, the army does not measure rounds of violence according to the number of terrorists killed, but by the army's success in thwarting terror attacks.

 

"We are at the tail end of a round that began with the (targeted killing) of (Popular Resistance Committees leader) Zuhir al-Qaisi. The goal was to thwart a murderous terror attack against civilians. This was our starting point," the general stated.

 

 

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