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IDF’s Kohavi: We are preparing for an escalation in Gaza

CM 25/04/2021

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As quiet tension was felt in the south, the IDF is preparing for a possible escalation of the situation in the Gaza Strip, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said on Sunday.Speaking with heads of local councils in the Gaza Envelope, Kohavi said that he wants to express his appreciation to them, for their “leadership and resilience.”“In recent days, we are facing violent events in several locations in the Palestinian front, and we are acting to restore the stability and the peace to the communities of the south,” Kohavi said.“At the same time, we are preparing in full to a possibility of an escalation or expanding the campaign, and we are dealing with the necessary preparations.Kohavi conducted a situation assessment meeting in the Gaza Division headquarters. There, he ordered the troops to prepare for a wide range of scenarios in the southern front.The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir; Southern Command OC Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledani; Home Front Command OC Maj.-Gen. Uri Gordin; Operations Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva; Intelligence Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman; Central Command OC Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai; Head of the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tal Kalman; COGAT Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Alian; a representative of the Shin Bet and other commanders.Later on Sunday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situation assessment meeting with Kohavi and other senior IDF officials at the Kiryah in Tel Aviv.After the meeting, Gantz talked about the importance of the readiness of the home front, in case there is an escalation in the situation.He also linked the situation in Gaza to the events in Jerusalem, and sent a message to the Palestinians, saying that Israel respects the freedom of religion of all of its residents, and at the same time, will do anything in its power to protect its citizens against any aggression.Earlier on Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson Unit announced that Kohavi canceled his trip to the US, where he was supposed to meet the top American defense officials.It was said that “after a security assessment, and to improve the preparations for possible developments, the chief of staff decided to cancel his planned trip to the US.”Instead, intelligence Directorate head Heiman and head of the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate Kalman will travel to Washington DC and will conduct meetings with senior defense officials.Over the weekend, at least 38 rockets we fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.Some 36 of them we fired overnight between Friday and Saturday.Following the launchings, the IDF attacked Hamas targets in Gaza.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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