Israel Defense Force (IDF)

IDF general: Gaza terror groups ‘deeply deterred,’ not interested in war

The head of the IDF’s Southern Command declared Wednesday that terror groups in the Gaza Strip were “very deeply deterred” by the air force’s aerial bombardment against dozens of targets in the coastal enclave on Tuesday afternoon and pre-dawn Wednesday.

“I think Hamas and the other terror groups in the Gaza Strip are very deeply deterred, and there is a lack of will and desire to reach a situation of another full-scale campaign,” Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir told officers on Wednesday.

Zamir’s comments were released by the military less than a day into an apparent ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Strip, after the largest exchange of fire over Gaza since the 2014 war.

“We struck many valuable targets, important targets that we’ve waited a long time for an opportunity [to strike them]. I think at this point, there’s a significant achievement for us,” Zamir said.

Critics of the army’s actions on Tuesday and Wednesday noted that the military did not strike the terror cells firing the rockets and mortar shells at Israel. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry did not report on any casualties in the IDF’s strikes.

Late Tuesday night, the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, who claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks throughout the day, said that an Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement had been reached, based on the truce that ended the 2014 war.

Israel repeatedly denied that it had reached an agreement, but a senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated to reporters that an understanding had been reached under which Israel would not conduct additional strikes in Gaza so long as no more rockets or mortar shells were fired, but would act forcefully if they were.

“If the launches are renewed, the attacks against Hamas will be intensified,” the official said.

Read More: Times of Israel