Givate Brigade commander Col. Yoel Strick was pleased as his forces left the area of Beit Hanoun after a weeklong operation.
Col. Strick says that the forces also uncovered five weaponry manufacturing facilities. Buildings used as 'laboratories' where missiles and explosives were prepared...
Regarding the local Palestinian population Col. Strick admits that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is very difficult: "The situation is miserable and reminiscent of the familiar images from refugee camps. It's not easy to see the way they're trying to maintain their daily lives there. It was clear that an operation of this stripe would force us to operate from areas populated with civilians and that we would have to take every precaution not to harm them. There were only six civilian fatalities; I can say that I'm proud of the outcome considering the scope of the operation. I have no problem with our moral standing."
During the operation Col. Strick met in person with the director of the Beit Hanoun hospital. "I asked him what equipment he was missing and we made sure he got it," says Col. Strick, adding that "we didn't go in to holy sites or hospitals, the terrorists did however, often entering these places with arms."
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