Tanks deploy near Gaza
Photo: Reuters

IDF: Hamas' military wing intact

Army preparing for next stage of Operation Cast Lead; senior officers support launching of ground incursion in Gaza to substantiate Israeli deterrence, say Hamas still capable of carrying out extensive ops

Despite the Israeli Air Force's massive strikes throughout the Gaza Strip in the last three days, military sources estimated Monday that Hamas' military wing was still intact and that it was capable of carrying out substantial operations in the near future.


Meanwhile, the IDF was preparing Monday for the next stage of Operation Cast Lead, which will see ground forces entering the Strip.


Large forces and heavy machinery are already stationed near Gaza, and the IDF is holding deliberations aimed at determining the nature of the ground incursion. The army is inclined to broaden the operation in order to boost Israel's deterrence vis-à-vis Hamas.


The forces on the ground have already been informed of the missions they will likely be ordered to carry out, including maneuvers aimed at locating and neutralizing terror infrastructure and targeting Hamas forces.


The army continues to monitor the developments in other fronts, including the West bank and southern Lebanon. At present the situation in the West Bank is relatively quiet, excluding several minor incidents and no escalation has been registered on the northern border.


However, the security forces are preparing for the possibility that Palestinian factions might attempt to launch rockets at Israel as a sign of solidarity with Hamas, or that Hizbullah might launch terror attacks via groups in the area.


פרסום ראשון: 12.29.08, 18:38
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