TEL AVIV – The terror group Hamas is taking advantage of the relative calm in Israel’s south to prepare for the next round of conflict, a senior IDF general said Wednesday.
Head of the IDF’s southern command General Eyal Zamir was addressing the kibbutz movement a day after the IAF shot down a Hamas drone.
“The IDF will not allow terror organizations, the first being Hamas, to attack Israeli citizens. We do not have any intention of escalating the situation, but we will respond to any attempt to harm us with the required force,” Zamir said.
Since Israel’s 50-day conflict with the terror group in the summer of 2014, relative quiet has prevailed with only sporadic rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip.
“The last two years have been quiet relative to the last ten years and they are being used to increase Israeli communities,” Zamir said.
Israeli officials have warned over the past year that Hamas is attempting to rehabilitate its forces and its network of terror tunnels.
Israel recently implemented an underground system for locating the tunnels.
“You can’t expect the State of Israel to allow [Hamas] to rearm itself, to steal money from the residents of Gaza. They are levying taxes and not constructing buildings, but tunnels,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the day after a rocket landed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on August 22.