'Next Time, Authorize a Bigger Operation'

Wounded IDF officer asks Chief of Staff to allow the IDF to take off its gloves in the fight against Hamas.

Gil Ronen ,

Yaalon with injured soldier
Yaalon with injured soldier
Israel news photo: Flash 90
As IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, visited the officers and soldiers who were wounded in an explosion in Gaza Thursday, one of them asked him to let the IDF strike Hamas harder than it has been doing.

Major Uri, commander of the force that was involved in the incident, politely hinted from his hospital bed at the combat soldiers' frustration at not being allowed to use full force against the enemy in Gaza.

"If it's up to you, hopefully next time you'll give authrization to do things that are more... the more the better,” he said. Yaalon chuckled.

Doctors are fighting to save the eyesight of another officer, who was seriously wounded in the attack.

“The tunnels phenomenon worries us,” admitted Yaalon in a statement to reporters. “Hamas sees it as a way to lay the groundwork for attacks against us.”

“We see Hamas as responsible, both as the ruling power in Gaza and as the one digging the tunnels,” he declared.

Photo: Ariel Chermoni, Defense Ministry

Terrorists detonated the explosive device as IDF soldiers were working to blow up parts of the terror tunnel that was recently discovered by IDF soldiers, leading from Gaza into an Israeli kibbutz.

Five soldiers were wounded – one seriously, one moderately and three lightly. All five were taken by helicopter to the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The IDF responded by opening fire at terrorists who were in the area and, according to an IDF statement, IAF aircraft also targeted another terrorist tunnel in southern Gaza. Direct hits were identified.