Defense Minister Ehud Barak convened a meeting with the chief of staff Benny Gantz, IDF commanders, and senior representatives of Defense and Intelligence. A senior Army source told Israel’s Reshet Bet radio that the IDF is preparing for a ground operation, and is only waiting for the decision of the political echelon.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said tonight: “I have ordered today to expand the recruiting of army reserve so we will be prepared for any kind of development, if and when required. This operation is not a quick fix, this test will continue and we must pass it, standing erect and calm.”
Barak added: I am convinced that the operation will achieve its goals. I am confident that we will contribute to bolstering our deterrence and restoring the peace, even if it takes time. Meanwhile, we have to remain calm, disciplined, follow the instructions of the Home Front Command and keep up our civilian routines as much as possible even under these circumstances, in order to allow the army to carry out its mission, and us to reach the end of the operation having the upper hand.”
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, briefing reporters, said tonight:
“IDF forces, the regular Paratroopers and Givati brigades are assembled in their designated pre-invasion areas, and are preparing to enter the Gaza Strip. We will act as necessary and according to the decisions of our political leadership. Most senior Hamas terrorists are fleeing. We must remain determined. To residents of the south: the power of our home front fuels our power to operate.”
“The IDF continues to operate surgically in Gaza, with targeted attacks – not against outposts, not against police stations – but against rocket launch posts. So far we’ve inflicted very severe damage to the arsenal of long-range missiles of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The IDF also managed to take out several launch teams during the attack. So far 14 terrorists were killed in the Gaza Strip.
“Every hour there are more than 12 attacks in the Gaza Strip, all day and all night. We We will continue again tonight and tomorrow. As time goes by, the attacks will increase. Our Home Front defense has been effective and efficient. We sustained a harsh blow in Kiryat Malachi, and we send our condolences to the families. I ask our citizens at home to obey the HFC instructions. Our active defense, combined with implementing the HFC guidelines, will achieve optimum result.