"Rockets will fall in Tel Aviv during the next war, and you will be in the battle field," Paratroopers Brigade commander Col. Aharon Haliva said last week as he spoke to reservists at Elyakim base.
Haliva later spoke of the link between the current political situation
in Israel and the IDF's
strategic decision to strike terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.
"It's obvious that the elections are affecting the military's strategic decisions, especially its activity in Gaza."
The elite units under Haliva's command are expected to lead all ground operations against terror nests in Gaza. Over the past year, Haliva has prepared these units for an operation in Gaza which has yet to be executed and is constantly being delayed.
In his talk, Haliva also spoke about the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War
and Operation Cast Lead, saying that "everyone thinks that the Second Lebanon War was a failure and that Operation Cast Lead
was a success. In reality, our northern border has been quiet for six years, but in the south, we've been hit by thousands of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza."
The Colonel also addressed the Iranian drone
that penetrated Israeli airspace one month ago, calling it "Hezbollah's
Haliva then explained his statement, saying that "the drone did not cause any operational or intelligence damage."
Haliva is known for his controversial statements. In February, the Colonel told troops their training had to be curtailed for lack of funding due to last summer's social protests.
"Because of the demonstrations, they cut the defense budget, and now we can't fire missiles in training," he said.
Haliva, who lives in Tel Aviv, harshly criticized the city's residents who participated in the protests. He told the reservists he would gladly "replace some of his neighbors," presumably referring to those who took part in the protests.