At an annual ceremony honoring fallen soldiers, Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz discussed the situation in the Middle East and Syria, and the IDF’s duty to protect the State of Israel.
IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, said that the IDF is committed to the security of Israeli civilians. “Now more than ever, our defenses are fortified. The nations of the world have a moral and ethical obligation to stand against the hideous crimes being committed against our innocent neighbors right across the border,” Lt. Gen. Gantz emphasized.
“We will not fan the winds of war, not within our borders or around us, but we will exercise the unshakable duty to protect the State of Israel from threats surrounding if needed,” he said. “Those who seek to harm us will do so in a way that is stronger and more aggressive than ever. Our enemies know that we are ready to defend our citizens in every way, against every threat and in every scenario possible.”
“The Middle East has been going through a historic upheaval these past few years where waves of armed and dangerous terror groups have come into the picture, posing many challenges,” said Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon. “However there hasn’t been a better expression of the dangers of extremism, from the south to the north, than the pictures that were broadcast last week from Syria, where innocent civilians are being slaughtered to no end by Bashar al-Assad’s monstrous regime.”
In reference to the use of chemical weapons, Ya’alon said: “I am sure that every person is shocked by these scenes of children dying in excruciating pain as a result of Assad’s forces using, and not for the first time, chemical weapons to kill. Today, the civilized world understands the power that he has. This axis of evil begins in Tehran, goes through Damascus and is based in Beirut. Crimes against humanity are its very nature.”
Ya’alon continued to discuss the threats facing Israel. “We are aware of the threats developing before our very eyes in the Middle East and we hear all of the threats being voiced toward the State of Israel, but we are not getting involved in the bloody conflict going on in Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East,” Ya’alon emphasized. “In the face of these threats, we are acting responsibly and considerately but we are also saying loud and clear: whoever dares to test us will face the might of the IDF.”