JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel destroyed some 80 percent of Palestinian rockets and mortars in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said.
About 2,000 rockets still remain in Hamas’ possession in Gaza, Yaalon said Monday in an address to a conference titled “Military and Political Lessons of Operation Protective Edge” at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan. The conference was hosted by the university’s BESA Center.
Yaalon said the Israel Defense Forces killed 40 “senior Hamas officials” and 10 senior Islamic Jihad officials.
He also acknowledged that the 50-day Gaza offensive this summer took longer than military officials expected, and that the ground war was initiated only once it was clear that there was no other way to destroy the hidden terror tunnels from Gaza to Israel.
“The question of Operation Protective Edge’s achievements will be judged by the test of time,” Yaalon said. “We’ll also have to see how we prevent Hamas and other organizations from rearming — the potential for doing so exists.
“I hope the future will prove that this operation achieved a long period of quiet and deterrence not only in the Gaza Strip but in the entire region.”