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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Benny Gantz’

PM Vows to Destroy All Terror Tunnels ‘With or Without Cease Fire’

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised Israelis Thursday morning the IDF would track down and destroy all the Gaza terror tunnels — and restore safety to southern Israel — “with or without a cease fire.”

The prime minister told the Security Cabinet Thursday morning that IDF soldiers have already mapped out and destroyed “dozens” of terrorist tunnels in Gaza.

The prime minister opened the meeting with praises for the troops fighting in the region, condolences for the families of those who have fallen in action, and encouragement for those recuperating from their injuries in hospitals and at home.

Netanyahu had especially high words of praise for soldiers and officers, as did Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. “Their morale is incredibly high,” noted Ya’alon.

“They are the real heroes of this story, those who are still busy with this situation.,” Gantz said. “Our troops, who understand what they have to do and who carry those orders out with unprecedented excellence.”

The meeting was brief, reviewing decisions made yesterday to intensify operations and call up 16,000 more reservists to allow the current 70,000 contingent of troops some “breathing room.”

The prime minister noted the decisions had come at a price in the international arena, but were supported at home by a wide majority of the people of Israel.

“We have destroyed dozens of tunnels and we will finish the job, with or without a cease fire. Israel won’t agree to a cease fire that does not allow the IDF to destroy every terrorist tunnel in Gaza,” he vowed.

The issue has been one that is at the forefront of southern Israeli residents’ minds: some 300,000 people have left the region for the duration, saying they fear infiltrations and terror attacks because of those tunnels.

As the ministers rose to leave, Netanyahu stopped them. “Wait a minute,” he said before ending the meeting. “I want to underline something for our troops, for the media and for the public: Every single soldier is precious to us – every single one,” the prime minister emphasized. “They are on our minds constantly. We think about every single one.”

Meanwhile, it has also been a busy morning in Gaza for the IDF.

Cooperation between ground and air forces has proved to be a major advantage in dealing with terrorists in urban warfare. Paratroopers spotted a cell of five terrorists moving in their area; transmitting that information to pilots in the skies, an IAF aircraft targeted the squad and confirmed the hit.

IDF combat forces identified a terrorist climbing out of a tunnel shaft in northern Gaza on Thursday morning. The troops engaged the terrorist and killed him.

Givati Brigade fighters also killed a terrorist who was spotted firing an anti-tank missile at IDF soldiers in southern Gaza.

Since midnight, terrorists have fired 16 missiles and rockets at Israel; 10 have reached Israeli territory.

While the security cabinet was meeting, a Grad Katyusha missile exploded in an open area on the outskirts of Be’er Sheva.

Over the past 24 hours, 37 IDF soldiers and two civilians have been admitted to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon with a range of injuries. Eight of the soldiers were listed in serious condition, seven in fair condition and the rest are listed in good condition.

Netanyahu: War Means War and Not Phony Ceasefires [VIDEO]

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Israel’s political and military leaders told the country Monday night that the war in Gaza will continue until all terror tunnels are destroyed and that Israel will not be conned by phony ceasefires.

Shortly after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz spoke at a press conference, the IDF announced that the four victims of a Hamas mortar shell earlier in the day were soldiers and that a fifth soldier was killed in fighting in Gaza.

The death toll of Israeli soldiers in the three-week-old war now is 48.

The IDF put the government’s words in action Monday night and shelled northeastern Gaza shortly after the Hamas mortar attack killed four soldiers near the Gaza border,

Earlier in the day, the IDF foiled a planned attack on a kibbutz after soldiers spotted terrorists infiltrating into Israel via a tunnel.

“We will not end the operation in Gaza without neutralizing the terror tunnels,” the Prime Minister told reporters. “There is no war more just than this one. We will not end the operation in Gaza without neutralizing the terror tunnels.

“Hamas is a cruel enemy, not only to us, but to their own citizens. They have rejected numerous cease-fires. We are prepared for an extended operation.”

Gantz said that the military has carried out an “excellent” campaign and that it would continue as long as necessary.

Ideas of a ceasefire went down the drain during the day as Hamas continued to attack Israel, setting off warning sirens as far north as Haifa, while talking about a halt in the violence.

The strong Israeli stand is a direct rejection of assertions by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and President Barack Obama who have expressed they “understand” Israel’s need to defend themselves but insist that negotiating with Hamas, which the United States has classified as an illegal terrorist organization, is the way to reduce fatalities, which raises the question why President Obama did not negotiate with Osama bin Laden after 9/11.

The international community has not gotten the message that for the first time in years, if not decades, an overwhelming majority of Israelis are 100 percent behind the government and want the army to finish the job.

“We won’t be deterred from fighting for our home and citizens,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the press conference,

Netanyahu has taken to the air waves, speaking on several American television channels the past several days and getting across two points: Hamas announces ceasefires while launching missiles at Israel, and Hamas continues to use civilians as human shields.

A Gaza hospital was hit by a rocket or mortar shells on Monday, and Hamas immediately accused Israel, as most foreign media duly reported until the IDF stated categorically that there were no military activities in the area and that Hamas’s mortar shells hit the medical facility.

Video of the IDF Chief of Staff visiting the troops:

Dear @IDFSpokesperson – Please Stop with the Moral Platitudes

Monday, July 21st, 2014

We’re all more than a bit angry and sad right now, but I’ve thought it over, and the moral platitudes being published by the IDF Spokesperson on Twitter have been grating on my nerves since they began, and my feelings about them have nothing to do with the deaths of our soldiers today, other than spurring me on to write this post.

Today the @IDFSpokesperson tweeted:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We have a moral obligation to avoid civilian casualties. We also have a moral obligation to defend our people.”

I have a simple question for the Chief of Staff: Which of these two moral obligations takes priority, and which action has higher moral value for you?

It’s a very real question, because it affects the decisions you make.

I know which one I give a much higher priority to, but I can’t tell which one our Chief of Staff considers morally superior, with that morally equivalent statement he’s bantering about.

I’m very much reminded of the 2002 decision to needlessly send a dozen soldiers into a booby-trapped Jenin alley, in a morally corrupt attempt to minimize enemy civilian casualties.

Perhaps I am being too harsh right now, and speaking out of the loss we all feel, but didn’t we learn from Jenin that it is morally and tactically superior to remotely soften and even destroy known dangerous zones, even with civilians present, before putting feet down on the ground?

Are there other factors in his decision? Could be, and in fact there probably are, such as world opinion, or US pressure.

But we can’t know if those factors actually enter into his calculations, as this moral platitude is the only one the Chief of Staff actually bothered to share with us on the subject.

Perhaps it would be simply better if he didn’t tweet moral equivocations like that in the first place, which lead me to conclusions I don’t want to believe are true.

And then we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We will continue offering help [to Gaza]…Even as we fight the enemy, we are transferring humanitarian assistance.”

So, even as we fight the enemy, we provide that same enemy with assistance?

Has he forgotten that before their violent and murderous coup, Hamas won 60% of the Parliamentarian seats in Gaza in open elections? Don’t Hamas’s citizens bear any responsibility for their actions and choices?

Don’t their cheers and chocolates after terror attacks on Jews, indicate some inkling of shared complicity on their part with their leadership?

It appears the IDF Chief of Staff doesn’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I am sure there are innocent civilians among them, but to brag that we are supporting an enemy population even as they attack us, which also enables them to attack us for longer? There’s something very unhealthy about that.

And finally we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “There are no militaries like ours. There are no militaries that drop leaflets and telephone civilians before a strike.”

I hope he doesn’t break his arm patting himself on the back. But the world really doesn’t care about Israel’s “moral” acts as much as he thinks it does.

In fact, it is Israel who keep inviting the world in to criticize us, by looking over our shoulder every two seconds to make sure the world still likes us (and some of it does, and some of it doesn’t).

Sending out tweets like that, invites closer scrutiny and investigation into our actions, if for no other reason than to prove it wrong that we are “morally superior”.

Netanyahu: ‘God Will Avenge Their Blood’

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed at a briefing prior to a security cabinet meeting Tuesday night that God will “avenge the blood” of the three teens murdered by Arab terrorists on June 12.

The security cabinet is meeting to formulate its response to the escalation in terror, from Gaza as well as the attack that took the lives of the three teens in Gush Etzion.

Despite prompt and fierce retaliation to each rocket attack by the Israel Air Force, Gaza terrorists appear to be undeterred, launching increased rocket and mortar attacks aimed at southern Israel daily.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a brief statement in Tel Aviv prior to the start of the meeting.

“God will avenge their blood, the blood of the [three teens murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12," he said.

“Our first objective is ... to reach the murderers – which we will do -- and anyone who participated in this. Anyone who had a hand in this despicable murder, their blood is on his head,” Netanyahu said grimly.

“We will track down each and every one.

“Second, we will destroy the infrastructure and the strength of Hamas in Judea and Samaria, in every corner of the region,” he vowed. “We have already done a great deal. We will continue until it is destroyed.

“Third, [our goal is] to destroy the strength of Hamas in Gaza.

“Hamas is responsible for the terror that took the lives of our three boys, and for the rocket fire directed against Israeli families. Hamas is now paying the price, and Hamas will continue to pay.

“Above all, our priority is to secure the safety of Israel’s citizens,” the prime minister said.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz joined Netanyahu at the briefing, adding a statement of his own and telling reporters that soldiers and officers were grieving together with the rest of Israel over the murders of the teens.

“Every officer, every soldier did every thing possible to successfully complete this search – to our sorrow, it ended in this way.

“We will continue [Operation Brother's Keeper] against Hamas and against our enemies with the same motivation and the same energy.

“We will not allow the communities of the south to continue to be threatened with attacks as they are today,” Gantz promised.

Operation Brother’s Keeper

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

After an operation in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Israeli forces have arrested about 280 Palestinian Arab suspects in connection with the recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers.

IDF soldiers arrested 30 terror suspects Wednesday night in connection with Operation Brother’s Keeper, the mission to find Hamas operatives who abducted three Israeli teenagers last week.

Since the beginning of the operation, IDF forces have detained approximately 280 suspects, including 200 Hamas operatives. Fifty five of the arrested were released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011.

Forces detained the suspects in the Judea and Samaria region, where Hamas terrorists abducted the three teens last Thursday. Soldiers also searched about 900 locations and carried out operations against Dawa institutions, the civilian mechanism used by Hamas to recruit operatives, disseminate information and raise funds.

During an operation in Nablus earlier this week, the IDF uncovered hundreds of weapons and explosives hidden in Palestinian weapons caches. As forces left the city Wednesday night, Palestinians hurled rocks and an improvised explosive device at the soldiers, leading to several arrests in the area.

A violent riot also erupted Wednesday night in Jenin, where soldiers were operating as part of their mission to find the teens. Like in Jenin, Palestinians hurled explosives and opened fire at the forces. The soldiers responded with live fire, identifying hits.

On Sunday morning, the IDF confirmed that Hamas terrorists were responsible for last week’s abduction. The IDF’s soldiers are working around the clock, on all fronts, to find Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel – the three Israeli teenagers abducted last Thursday.

Soldier guides a drone in an IDF exercise

Soldier guides a drone in an IDF exercise.

Soldiers controlling drones on the ground are enhancing Israel’s operation. Their technology provides crucial intelligence to forces trying to find the kidnappers. “As soon as we identify [a target], we’ll be able to notify forces in the area,” said Captain Yochai Varso, an IDF company commander. “When they ask to see a house, we’ll be able to show them the structure and movement nearby.”

During an overnight operation Saturday, IDF forces arrested about 80 Palestinian suspects connected to the terrorist kidnapping. “Palestinian terrorists will not feel safe,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stressed after the operation. “They will not be able to hide and will feel the heavy arm of Israel’s military capabilities.”

gantz During a press conference on Saturday evening, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz discussed the IDF’s broad search effort. “We are operating wherever needed and our efforts are growing,” Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed. “We remain determined to achieve our operational objectives, and will act with responsibility, poise and determination to accomplish whatever is required of us.”

Israeli forces searched throughout Hebron for signs of the young Israelis. Their operation took them between alleys, on top of houses and through the city’s markets. Israeli forces performed similar operations across the Judea and Samaria region.

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I believe the Palestinian Authority unity government has launched a third intifada.

Perhaps a quiet one, perhaps not. But it is undeniably clear there has been a sharp escalation in Arab attacks on Jews throughout the country since the start of 2014.

Since the beginning of 2014, more than 200 rockets were aimed at Israel from the Gaza region – twice the number fired in 2013.

And once Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas signed his merger with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal –- silent partners with the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad – the number of attacks jumped even higher.

For starters, here’s what the week looks like so far:

On Sunday night Arabs felt comfortable enough to open fire in a drive-by attack on an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to Jerusalem leading to Highway 60, the main road that runs through the Gush Etzion tunnel and through Judea to the south of Israel’s capital. Five bullet casings from a pistol were found. Miraculously, no one was injured.

On Monday evening, here’s what happened:

  • An Egged bus driver on Bus #51 was injured when his bus came under attack by Arab rock throwers on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The hail of rocks smashed the glass on the bus, sending the broken shards flying into the driver’s face and body.
  • A missile launched from Gaza made it through Israeli defenses and exploded on the outskirts of Ashkelon. No injuries reported.
  • Arab terrorists attacked a car traveling on the main road near Azun; one of the rocks they hurled at the vehicle broke the back window and wounded a baby in the back seat. The mother, who drove, managed to reach help in the Jewish town of Karnei Shomron.
  • Arabs attacked the Beit Orot Yeshiva in Jerusalem, also Monday night, and succeeded in hitting the guardhouse of the yeshiva. They did not succeed in injuring anyone.
  • Two Arab terrorists attempted to infiltrate the Samaria Jewish town of Kochav Yaakov in the Binyamin region on Monday night as well. They were spotted by IDF soldiers trying to cut through the town’s security fence. The soldiers opened fire at the terrorists, injuring one of them. The injured terrorist was subsequently taken to a Ramallah hospital — but the second terrorist managed to escape. This is the second attempt by terrorists to infiltrate the town in less than 72 hours.

In the past 14 days, at least a dozen missiles were fired at Israel. Seven reached Israeli territory, including a number fired at Ashkelon. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system – but the falling shrapnel caused damage to the property hit by the debris.

Last Wednesday, a European Union delegation visited Gaza to express support for the new Hamas-backed legislators joining the PA unity government. Barely 24 hours later, emboldened Hamas terrorists in Judea crossed into Israeli territory to kidnap two 16 year old yeshiva boys who learn at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, and their 19 year old fellow student. They were grabbed while standing on the road in Gush Etzion, heading home for the Sabbath. One of the boys had the presence of mind to dial police and managed to get the words out, “We’re being kidnapped by terrorists,” before his cell phone was cut off.

That was last Thursday night.

An IDF spokesperson announced the IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel and will operate decisively against any act of terrorism. Strong words – but police took hours to respond to the yeshiva boys’ desperate phone call for help. Reportedly they were too busy interrogating other teens at a community where there was a report of a ‘price tag’ attack on Arabs in days past.

IDF Chief: ‘Instability in Every Region; We Must Remain Prepared’

Monday, June 9th, 2014

IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz spoke today at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference, where he addressed the challenges to Israel’s national security and the threats that the IDF could face in the near future.

“The Middle East has undergone extreme turmoil in the past several years,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Monday during a special address at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference in Israel. The military chief discussed the evolving security challenges facing the State of Israel in today’s world.

“As a military, we have to be prepared constantly,” Lt. Gen. Gantz continued. “This has been difficult lately because we don’t know exactly what the next day will bring.”

Iran is continuing on its path toward a nuclear weapon, and it can not ignore the international isolation and the sanctions imposed on it,” Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed. “We must prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability — preferably through negotiations, but if necessary, through force.”

Threats from the North

“The situation in Syria is like a house of cards that is about to collapse, and we can see that democracy there is falling apart,” the military chief said of the continuing turmoil on Israel’s northern border. “The radical axis is growing stronger in the area, as is Jihad.”

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Lt. Gen. Gantz explained that a range of outcomes in Syria could jeopardize Israel’s security. He stressed that Jihadi organizations and a strong Iranian-led axis pose particular concerns, warning that tens of thousands of Jihadis affiliated with terrorist organizations are dispersed in the north.

The Chief of Staff emphasized that the actions of these terrorists “are fueled by hatred toward western countries.” Hezbollah, he continued, is “gaining operational experience [in Syria] that Israel may be forced to confront on the battlefield.”

A New Reality in the South

Lt. Gen. Gantz also addressed recent changes in Egypt, where a new regime has taken power under the leadership of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “Sisi’s regime is moderate and realistic,” the Chief of Staff said. “Although it may not be good, it is better than the regime two years ago.”

In Gaza, he said, “a dramatic armament of mid-long range rockets is taking place,” adding that “what most characterizes the region is instability.” He reminded the audience that just last night, a rocket was fired from Gaza and fell 300-400 meters south of the Gaza security barrier.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/idf-chief-instability-in-every-region-we-must-remain-prepared/2014/06/09/

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