IDF Ready for Gaza Operation

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi said when the government gives the order, the military is ready to launch a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip.

"The army is prepared to expand its activity in accordance with the [government's] decisions," Ashkenazi said.

The army chief told several hundred senior military personnel Monday that he has "complete faith" in the IDF's ability to do its job well in the face of multifaceted security challenges facing Israel this year.

"Two thousand eight will be filled with security-related challenges, and the army must be ready to face them," he said.

Since his appointment as chief of General Staff, Ashkenazi has worked to rehabilitate Israel's armed forces after the debilitating Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

Meanwhile, in a counter-terror operation in northern Gaza, IDF troops arrested 10 Palestinian terrorists and transported them to Israel for questioning.

A soldier injured during the operation was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for treatment.

Palestinians in Gaza fired mortar shells at an IDF base near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, damaging a building, but injuring no one. Four other mortar shells landed outside Israeli communities in the western Negev.

Sources: Haaretz, israel national news

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