Army Chief Warns Civilians: The Next War will be Extremely Hard

The Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, warned on Wednesday, December 25, that Israel must prepared for the possibility of a “limited confrontation” with Iran and that “In the next war, be it with the north or with Gaza, the intensity of enemy firepower will be great. There can be no war without casualties and I cannot guarantee a short war,” he said. “We will need national resilience.”

“I’m looking at everyone directly in the eye, and saying it will be intense. We have to prepare for that. We have to prepare for that militarily, on the home front, and mentally,” Kochavi warned. The army chief added that Israel was prepared to go to war if needed to “restore quiet” to the Gaza Strip.

Beit Hanoun in Gaza after an Israeli air strike, August 12, 2014

Beit Hanoun in Gaza after an Israeli air strike, August 12, 2014 (Photo: Activestills)

The army chief made his comments in an hour-long, wide-ranging address on Israel’s national security and the state of its military forces at a conference in memory of former Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. It was Kochavi’s first major speech on Israel’s national security since assuming his position last January.

Kochavi said that Israel’s military was operating throughout the region — openly, covertly and clandestinely — to “thwart the plans of Iran and its proxies, even at the risk of war.”  “You cannot have a war without casualties. I cannot promise you a short war. I’ll do what I can to shorten it, but during that time, the home front will be hit,” he said. Kochavi said, “We will attack the infrastructure of any country that allows this, its gas, fuel, and roads. Countries that allow or encourage terror groups to operate within their borders must know that they will be held responsible,” he said, specifically citing Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.