Over the years leading up to the current IDF ground incursion in Gaza, training, funding and strategic planning has been focused on just such an operation making the army well-prepared for what they are about to face in the coming days and possibly weeks.
“The airstrikes did not solve the problem and won’t solve it, either. A ground maneuver is the solution. Where the ground maneuver reached – rocket launching stopped.”
This comment may have been made by a senior general staff IDF officer in the midst of the battle for the defense budget, but it accurately portrays the mood in the army in the days leading up to the ground operation – from the troops waiting in the dusty areas of gathering outside the Gaza border to the officers in the GOC Army Headquarters.
But the hesitation and criticism of the long wait ended last Thursday night when Operation Protective Edge entered its current phase.
The message that the IDF official wanted to convey in late March was also evident in the field: In the past year, the IDF has spent NIS 1.3 billion in training of thousands of ground, armored, engineering and artillery troops. This does not include billions of shekels allocated for the purchase of advanced weaponry. Read more at Yediot Achronot.