The Israeli military is building a base next to the Gaza Strip to accommodate tens of thousands of soldiers, as it prepares for the next phases of its response to Hamas’s attack on Saturday.
(Bloomberg) — The Israeli military is building a base next to the Gaza Strip to accommodate tens of thousands of soldiers, as it prepares for the next phases of its response to Hamas’s attack on Saturday.
“Israel is going to respond very severely and aggressively and there will be more loss of life,” Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israeli military and lieutenant-colonel, told journalists in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. “We should all change the paradigm here. This is not tit for tat.”
Israel has not said it will send troops into Gaza, but many Israelis and Palestinians expect it to. The last major Israeli incursion into Gaza was in 2014. It lasted seven weeks and led to the killing of more than 2,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.
Israel’s mobilized 300,000 reservists — the most in its history — after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets and sent militants into southern Israel, where they killed at least 900 people and took back others as hostages. The incursion marked Israel’s biggest intelligence failure in at least 50 years.
The mass and rapid mobilization means the military is stretched for equipment, leaving some troops with older items, Hecht said. He warned there could be errors when it comes to hitting targets in Gaza.
“Think how stretched we are in terms of munitions and aerial assaults,” he said.
The US has said it will send military aid to Israel to relieve some of the pressures.
Hecht wouldn’t disclose how many hostages are held in Gaza, but said the numbers is in the dozens. The military has set up a crisis center headed by two generals dedicated to hostages and other civilian matters, he said.
The infiltration by a small number of people into Israel’s north from Lebanon on Monday was by Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters, not Hezbollah, according to Hecht. The area has largely been quiet since then and the firing for several mortars toward Israel, he said.
Israel Says Iran-Backed Militia Is Setting Up Illegal Outposts
A major concern for Israel is Hezbollah joining the fight to support Hamas’s efforts. Like Hamas, Hezbollah gets funding and training from Iran and is thought to have thousands of rockets.
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