Fifth day of Operation Swords of Iron.
In an interview granted by Brig.-Gen. Omer Tischler to reporters, he spoke of the work of the Air Force and said that "the IDF is striking in Gaza in dimensions never seen before."
"We are in a difficult war," Tischler said, "What happened Shabbat morning is a difficult and intolerable event, inhuman. This is a detestable enemy who set out from a civilian population and murdered a civilian population. This event will be investigated at the end of the war, we as an army are responsible for this, I am responsible. I'm a simple man, we're responsible here and now and we're working to fundamentally change the situation from the ground up. We need to focus on what will be. We're not in a round, this is war."
Tischler addressed the Air Force strikes in the Strip over the past few days and said "We are attacking in the Strip at levels never seen before, because the event we have here is an event that wasn't before. There's an enemy here that fires rockets, raids the civilian population. This is an event that's ending. We're not going back to that."
"We're not operating like the other side, we're not attacking civilians"
"We're operating as a very systematic machine together - sea, land, air. It starts with intelligence, there are planning operations of hundreds of people - reserves, regulars. From there it goes to the squadrons. All the squadrons, attack helicopters, drones, work on a very broad continuum. We're taking out senior leaders, attacking war rooms. hunting (terror) activists outside their homes and activists inside structures. We're operating within broad terror centers and attacking very aggressively."
Tischler also addressed claims of strikes against civilians in Gaza, saying "We are not operating like the other side, we are not attacking a civilian population, every strike has a target behind it. We are working precisely and professionally but not surgically. I don't deal in isolated, dozens, and even hundreds (of munitions). We're talking thousands of munitions. Behind every such target there is an essence."
"Imagine at the operational headquarters, hundreds of reservists, regulars together, green, white, blue. Planes receive targets. Imagine the skies of Gaza from the lowest to the highest point. (Intelligence) Collection planes, attack planes, drones, and attack helicopters. Everyone who moves from Gaza to Israel, is attacked, there are hundreds of people working round the clock, for me there's no difference between day and night. We get to the planes, receive the targets, the munitions wait for them. That's what war looks like, not a round. It's always attack."
"For me, patience is very important. I'm looking forward, this machine will work, attack and destroy. That's how you operate when you want to uproot those terror centers and that event where Hamas operates out of civilian places, that for me is not coming back."
"We represent a line of defense in the air and on land, this is war"
Tischler addressed additional actions of the Air Force: "It's important for me to say, it's not just the offensive system. There's also a collection system, flying forces to the north and to the south, flying wounded, a transportation system bringing our people during (the fighting) from other countries. A munitions plane landed here from the United States. The control system which is the connection between the operational headquarters and the forces fighting on the ground - the whole world of aid close to the fighting forces. There's no energy limitation as far as I'm concerned, we'll be here as long as we need to, day, night, working."
"Regarding the world of defense. The IDF is operating against hundreds of Hamas terrorists in our territory and now we're creating a line of defense on the ground, air and land. Regarding the active and aerial defense I say, there is no hermetic (defense), this is war. We are intercepting in the thousands, this is combined with very responsible conduct by the public which listens and heeds IDF instructions."
He also addressed the northern sector heating up, saying "in a multi-front perspective, we are focused on Gaza. We are also spread out strong in the north and beefing up forces in the north, too. The IDF knows to operate on multiple fronts, as much as it takes. Along with our American partners, we heard the President. You see how munitions landed here, it creates (greater) length of war and (greater) duration of war and this will continue."
"All energy is dedicated to destroying the enemy"
"This is an intolerable event, we as an army should have prevented it and we didn't prevent it. From the moment it happened and it was understood that it's happening, all the Air Force teams launched. An attack helicopter goes up from north to south, they come to a patch of our territory, of hundreds of terrorists mixed with the civilian population. They see many dozens of people in their sights. Hard decisions are made. An attack helicopter attacks, every such platform that comes kills dozens of terrorists. Additional Air Force tools attack dozens of terrorists, together it comes to hundreds."
"In those first hours, we flew forces which entered an active combat zone. Soldiers get off the helicopters and go to fight face to face. Everything in the Air Force hit the skies. Everyone ran to the squadrons, the control rooms, the aerial defense system, and all the Air Force systems. All the energy of the Force is dedicated to the destruction of the enemy."