Smoke billows following an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern of Gaza Strip, on Tuesday. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Israel responds to latest ceasefire violation. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Protective Edge

Israeli and Hamas officials are scheduled to meet for further ceasefire negotiations, but the IDF is preparing for all possible developments.

Israeli and Hamas negotiating teams are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Cairo for discussions regarding a long-term ceasefire, but the IDF is preparing for any developments, as the current ceasefire is scheduled to end on Thursday.

Israel’s Channel 2 reports that the IDF has redeployed the Iron Dome anti-rocket systems, although the military estimates that Hamas will not renew fire on Israel so quickly.

Nonetheless, the IDF is taking no chances and has raised its level of alertness, deploying additional forces in the south to contend with any threat over the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) holiday, which begins Wednesday evening.

IDF soldiers train to content with the tunnel threat. (Photo: IDF Spokesman Unit).

IDF soldiers train to contend with the tunnel threat. (Photo: IDF Spokesman).

Anti-Tunnel Warfare

The IDF has prescribed special anti-tunnel warfare training for all its combat units following the experience of Operation Protective Edge, when the existence of massive Hamas terror tunnels became evident.

The tunnels posed a serious threat to Israeli soldiers and civilians, and therefore all soldiers – not only special units – will train to contend with this menace, which was the case until now.

The Givati Brigade built a new training complex that accurately depicts a Gazan town and its hidden hazards. “The exercise accurately portrays warfare in Gaza, with underground infrastructure, civilians in the vicinity and close-counters combat,” said Major Elroy Buchnik, who commanded the innovative exercise. “What is unique about this exercise is that we built a scenario that details the Givati Brigade’s assault in the Gaza Strip.”

This special training will ensure that soldiers are better equipped to deal with all surprises and challenges.

Operating While Changing

“The intelligence branch is taking the regional turmoil, the changes taking place, the need to change and operate while changing, into consideration, “said IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz last Thursday during a ceremony in which Brigadier General Hertzi Halevi was instated as Commander of the Intelligence Brigade. “This is done through a broad spectrum of operations, which is exemplified by Operation Protective Edge.”

Halevi expressed satisfaction at rejoining the Intelligence Corps. “I am very glad to set on this wonderful path. When I left the Corps the last time, I was amazed to see the ideas shared around the unit and the way they were implemented. There are many new directions that have been added and developed since, and I am glad to take command of a unit that has changed and changes according to relevance, and under my command we will continue to evolve,” Halevi concluded.

Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel.