Date: 21/01/2009, 12:05 AM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

“There was nearly not one weapon storage facility, smuggling tunnel and terror operative house that was not hit in the Gaza Strip, and there were minimal tactical encounters by our forces with them (the Hamas terror operatives) that ended without an achievement on our part,” said the GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, at an assembly of the Sho’alay Marom Brigade (res.) and an Armored Corps Battalion (res.) at the Mishmar Hanegev military base. The assembly, which was held in light of the operational ceasefire, was also attended by the Commander of the Center for Ground Forces Training, Brig. Gen. Guy Tzur; Commander of the Sho’alay Marom Brigade, Col. Moshe Or; and the Reserves’ Officer-in-Chief, Brig. Gen. Shuki Ben-Anat.

Maj. Gen. Galant also made note that Hamas was surprised many times throughout the operation. “At the beginning of the operation, the firepower was strong and accurate during the quick maneuvers and due to our cooperation with aerial and artillery fire and the quick decision of going out to the different areas of deployment. The assessment is that the other side understands that firing rockets is not worth it, and we will make sure that it remains that way and thus prepare to suppress the capabilities of Hamas.”

Maj. Gen. Galant expressed his assessment to the soldiers saying, “Your operation gives confidence and security to the military leadership. We will continue to prepare and keep on eye on the other side. When needed, we know you can be trusted.” Brig. Gen. Tzur, added saying, “I met a brigade that really wanted to go into Gaza and I am glad they went in with you. You brought with you bravery and initiative and you did excellent work. I am full of appreciation for your operational achievements, and to you as people who enlisted and put your civilian lives on pause and know that you will do it again next time. We are trust you and know that will always come.”