IDF spokesman Moti Almoz made clear in a television interview on Sunday evening that the IDF is “not going anywhere”, even with a new 72-hour ceasefire having been announced in Gaza.
"As far as we’re concerned, any talk of a ceasefire will be tested on the ground," he said, emphasizing that the IDF had a duty to protect the people of the south.
"We're not going anywhere, and we will only go when it's quiet,” declared Almoz.
"Today, the Chief of Staff visited the Gaza Belt communities, met with residents and forces in the field and checked the readiness and the work being carried out,” said Almoz, adding that "if we will have to use force again - we will do so.”
He noted that ground phase of Operation Protective Edge came to an end after the IDF was able to destroy all the Hamas terror tunnels it had identified.
"The Chief of Staff provided the public with an update of the achievements of the operation, and they are many. The Gazan public and Hamas understand this as well," the IDF Spokesman said.
Almoz called on the public to maintain its patience. "Hamas had not planned to face residents who are so patient. The fact is that we continue to deal a blow to Hamas even at this moment and Hamas knows that. Anything Hamas says is a result of the difficult blow that was dealt to it by the IDF," he concluded.
Just moments before the latest ceasefire began at midnight Israel time, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets towards Israel, including Tel Aviv.
Hamas played a double game Sunday, with its negotiators reportedly agreeing to a ceasefire in Cairo, and its terrorists in Gaza launching missiles at Israel. Israel insists that it will not negotiate under fire, but Hamas appeared to be trying to make it do so anyway.