Chief of Staff: Joint operation prevented a large-scale terror attack

Lt. Gen. Gantz toured Kerem Shalom, where IDF thwarted a terror attack. Maj.Gen. Russo: “Operation featured IAF-Armored Corps-infantry forces cooperation.”

Date: 06/08/2012, 10:30 AM     Author: IDF Website

Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz toured the Kerem Shalom area early this morning, along with GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo and Gaza Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Yossi Bachar.

“Even before investigations of the attack are complete, I estimate we prevented a large-scale disaster, an extremely complex attack by terrorists operating between Sinai and the Gaza Strip. This was an extremely successful joint operation of the IAF and Armored Corps,” said Lt. Gen. Gantz. He added, “The speed of the cooperation between the various forces enabled us to thwart a terror attack within 15 minutes, according to the searches. I would like to express my appreciation for the alertness of the forces, specifically the alertness of the intelligence, and the determination of the soldiers operating in the field.

GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo said that “the soldiers operated at every spot through which the vehicle attempted to enter. There were many clashes till the vehicle was destroyed, while it was tracked and surrounded by IAF and Armored Corps forces along with regional infantry soldiers. The vehicle was destroyed from attacks both in the air and on ground. The terrorists who attempted to fire at the soldiers even after the vehicle was destroyed were targeted as well. The operation featured great cooperation between the forces.”

As he was touring the site of last night’s terror attack, Lt. Gen. Gantz spoke with combat soldiers who participated in the chase after the terrorists.

Last night, Global Jihad terrorists and Egyptian soldiers exchange fire near Rafah: Terrorists in the Sinai region captured an Egyptian military post new Rafah, killed over ten Egyptian soldiers and took over two armored personnel carriers (APC).

IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai clarified that “the IDF is ruling out the possibility a solider is missing or was abducted.” Brig. Gen. Mordechai stressed that no injuries were reported as a result of the fire, though IDF soldiers continue to thoroughly search the area to ensure no terrorists infiltrated via the border or are currently in Israeli territory.

The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a situation assessment in response o the incident. He then ordered IDF forces to continue searching the area and locate any terrorists in the region.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak congratulated IDF and ISA forces in southern Israel, who thwarted a severe terrorist attack in the Kerem Shalom region. Barak said last night that “IDF soldiers, under the command of Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, instructed by the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and assisted by ISA personnel, were focused, alert and determined, and thwarted a terror attack that would have led to numerous injuries. The attack methods employed by the terrorists raise once again the need for Egyptian operation to instill security and prevent terror in Sinai.”