"[Statements] encouraging the IDF to use maximum force in retaliation for rockets are irresponsible, in my opinion," Eisenkot said speaking at an event in the Interdisciplinary Center, as quoted by The Times of Israel newspaper.
The army chief was responding to calls by some public figures and politicians to provide a more forceful response to rocket fire from Gaza, stressing that Israel needed to avoid being "dragged" into a renewed conflict in Gaza by radical groups.
"We do not need to rush into things, but if we have to, we have the tools to do so," the IDF chief noted, adding that Israel would continue its policy of carrying out retaliatory strikes on facilities of the Hamas movement in response to any rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.
The statement was made after the IDF confirmed another rocket had been launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Monday. In response, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) targeted a military facility of Hamas in the area.
Clashes between the IDF and the Palestinian militants have recently intensified against the backdrop of continuing protests on the Palestinian territories over the December 6 US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move, however, was rejected by the UN General Assembly vote on December 21, condemning both US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as Washington's decision to move its embassy to the city.
Amid the ongoing unrest in the area in December, the Israel Defense Forces reported that Rockets targeting the southern region of Israel landed on the territory of Gaza Strip, and claiming that the Palestinian Hamas movement was responsible for the attack.