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IDF Commander 'Surprised' by Quick Halt to Rocket Fire

The head of the IDF’s Southern Command says he was “surprised” at how quickly the rocket fire from Gaza stopped last week.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/28/2012, 5:46 AM

Tal Russo
Tal Russo
Flash 90

The head of the IDF’s Southern Command said on Tuesday that he was “surprised” at how quickly the rocket fire from Gaza stopped when a ceasefire came into effect last week.

Maj. Gen. Tal Russo said he believes the quiet in Gaza is first and foremost because of the severe blow dealt to Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense.

“Right now, the change is extreme," said Russo. “The deterrence is very strong and even with the cries of joy in Gaza, we understand and they also understand that Hamas was hit very hard."

"Based on past experience and the ability of the organizations to stop the rocket fire it is surprising that for the past six days there has been no rocket fire,” Russo added. He also said that Israel will follow through on the arrangements it agreed to, through Egyptian mediation. "The question is only what the other side will do,” he noted.

"We have seen six days of quiet and the forces have moved from dealing with terrorism to dealing with disturbances and that’s the situation today,” said Russo.

A disturbance such as the one Russo was referring to occurred last Friday, when a violent clash erupted along the Gaza security fence. Gaza residents said one local man was killed by IDF fire and several others were wounded.

The IDF Spokesperson later indicated that the soldiers had to fire into the air because Gazans had caused a disturbance along the security fence.

While there has been no rocket fire from Gaza in recent days, a serious incident occurred on Monday when an Israeli mother in the small agricultural community of Sde Avraham managed to fight off an armed Gaza terrorist, saving herself and her young children from murder.

Tzadok Admon Edry, head of the Sde Avraham security team, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that the terrorist apparently entered Israel from Gaza near the Kerem Shalom crossing, breaching a “smart fence” that warns of infiltration. The warning sounded, but was not dealt with.

Edry called on the IDF to “learn lessons” from the event. “We must not wake up in the morning feeling unprotected,” he said.

“There were serious failures here,” he added. “Residents here are waiting for the next round of fighting, and they are not happy with how the war ended. Everyone knows that even after Pillar of Defense the situation is going to get worse.”