IDF chief: Calls for massive retaliation in Gaza are ‘irresponsible’

The Times of Israel reports: “IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot on Tuesday condemned calls by politicians and public figures for more forceful military retaliations to recent rocket attacks from Gaza as ‘irresponsible.’

Speaking at a conference in Herzliya, he noted that radical salafist terrorist groups are trying to ‘drag’ Israel into renewed conflict in the coastal enclave — something he is seeking to avoid.

‘We do not need to rush into things, but if we have to, we have the tools to do so,’ Eisenkot told a packed auditorium at the Interdisciplinary Center during an event commemorating one of his deceased predecessors, Lt. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak.

The army chief noted that another war in Gaza — a tiny strip of land in which some two million Palestinians live with high levels of unemployment and poor quality of life — would ‘not [be] a simple dilemma.’

Eisenkot indicated that tensions with the Gaza Strip will continue as Israel constructs a NIS 3 billion ($865 million) barrier around the coastal enclave, specifically designed to counter underground attack tunnels…”

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