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IDF chief: Hamas miscalculated; our forceful response is essential to protect Israel’s citizens

IDF Chief of staff Aviv Kohavi at a May 16, 2021 press conference (Screenshot)
IDF Chief of staff Aviv Kohavi at a May 16, 2021 press conference (Screenshot)

IDF Chief Aviv Kohavi, coming on next, says that “Hamas made a serious mistake and did not calculate us correctly,” noting all the damage that the army has inflicted on the terror group’s capabilities, particularly its underground infrastructure.

He says the IDF has been following a pre-prepared plan, “with several stages, some of which have been completed and some which lie ahead.”

“We have heavily damaged Hamas’s underground capabilities. This was their flagship project,” he says. “They intended to fight from there. And considerable portions have been hit and are unusable. It will take a long time for them to revive it.”

He adds: “We have critically hit their missile production capabilities — factories and people. We have hit many weapons capabilities… many operatives… And we have thwarted innumerable attempted attacks via sea and land.”

Nonetheless, Kohavi acknowledges, “the heavy fire on the homefront continues. We are aware of this… and we are doing everything to make our air defenses more effective. Nonetheless, we are achieving very good results.”

“The Gaza Strip has never previously met this kind of force,” Kohavi says, adding that the offensive is justified given “the scale of the rocket attacks on the homefront.”

Alluding to the deaths and injuries of non-combatants in Gaza, Kohavi says, “every bomb heads to a destination on the basis of intel… Our offensive capability is very accurate and we are doing everything to avoid hitting non-combatants — even though this is often not simple.”

The imperative, he says, is “to thwart the threats to the citizens of Israel.”

Concludes Kohavi: “We intend to continue to act with force for as long as is necessary, and according to the phases we had planned…

“We are acting with the conviction that this is the right and necessary thing to do in order to protect the citizens of Israel.”

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