Hamas fighters 'courageous': Israeli army chief

"We must be honest and say that we fought against brave men," Gantz said during a discussion with army soldiers.

Hamas fighters 'courageous': Israeli army chief

World Bulletin/News Desk

Israeli army chief of staff Benny Gantz has described Hamas fighters as "courageous".

"We must be honest and say that we fought against brave men," Gantz said during a discussion with army soldiers.

"To run up and try to put an explosive charge upon a tank is the act of courageous people," he added.

For seven weeks in July and August, Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

The offensive left around 2,160 Palestinians dead and some 11,000 others injured – the vast majority of them civilians – while destroying infrastructure across the coastal strip.

Over the same period, at least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were killed by Palestinian fighters or rocket fire.

Gantz said that the Israeli army was taking measures to track "what is taking place on our borders, in Gaza and in the sea."

"We do not really know what the challenges of the future will hold, but I can state decisively that, no matter how challenging and difficult it will be, as long as we will stand together — it will be possible," he said.

Ever since Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls, Israel has imposed a land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Israel tightened the blockade further after Hamas wrested control of the enclave from the rival Fatah movement one year later.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2014, 11:02

Muhammed Öylek

YORUM EKLE