In the wake of the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Hamas and other terror groups have stepped up their violence against the Jewish state and her people, including 16 rockets fired from Gaza in the past week. The Jerusalem Post's Eric Sumner reports on the IDF's response, including its vow to destroy all terror tunnels in the next year:
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis warned Hamas on Thursday that its "only option is to stop the rocket fire," and that the Israeli military will not tolerate anything less than "complete quiet" on its border with the Gaza Strip.
"We've seen in the past three and a half years that Hamas, when it wants to, knows how to prevent rocket fire coming from Gaza," Manelis said in an interview with Army Radio.
In July 2014, Israel fought a lengthy and devastating war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. After it ended, Israel set a new balance of power, determining that any rocket or mortar fire from Gaza would be met with an immediate response. This policy, Manelis said, has ensured that the time since the end of the conflict has been the quietest the south of Israel has ever known.
The deterrence built up since 2014 “wasn’t built in a day and it won’t come crashing down in a week,” he continued, stressing nonetheless that Israel would not accept anything except total calm in the Strip.
According to Manelis, most, if not all, of the 16 projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza in the last week were not launched by Hamas, but rather by smaller "rogue or independent terrorist groups," such as Islamic Jihad. Nevertheless, he reaffirmed that the IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything that happens within Gaza and "for anything that comes out of it..."