By Erin Viner
Approximately 3,000 IDF soldiers from the Golani Brigade, the Armored Corps, the Artillery Corps, and reserve brigades practiced maneuvers in mountainous terrain and combat in urban areas, alongside Intelligence Corps and Air Force units.
The Premier was escorted on the visit by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, as well as General Office Command (GOC) Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram, Ga’ash Division Commander Brig. Gen. Dan Newman and other senior IDF commanders.
A statement obtained by TV7 from the Prime Minister’s office said Bennett thanked the soldiers for their activity on behalf of the security of Israel and wished them success in the drill.
The Israeli leader also noted that the recent Knesset approval of the 2021-2022 state budget “is especially important for the IDF, which can now plan its resources accordingly, train continuously and intensively, and invest whatever is necessary in preparing for the next confrontation. Today the IDF is training on a large scale and at a high level of proficiency, while on maneuvers everywhere.”
“We are surrounded by security challenges and the goal is to utilize periods of relative quiet to build up strength. Therefore, we are preparing for various scenarios, near and far,” said Prime Minister Bennett, stressing that Israel is “dealing with Iran and its proxies, in Lebanon and Syria. It does not matter what occurs between Iran and the major powers.”
Expressing concern over insufficient response by the international community to Iranian nuclear violations and malign regional behavior, Prime Minister Bennett reiterated that, “Israel will defend itself, by itself.”
Israel Defense Minister Gantz said he was pleased to visit a division that had first begun to operate in multiple theaters alongside other divisions during his previous tenure as Chief-of-Staff. “We found here a cohesive and well-trained system that is adding to its capabilities, and I am very pleased by what we have seen here,” he said.
While the current training in the northern sector, Minister Gantz underscored that the nation’s defense establishment maintains constant vigilance of every front.
“We currently see Iran’s policy both inside Iran vis-à-vis its nuclear program,” Israel’s Defense chief stressed, “including “its strengthening outside Iran, and its influence in Syria and Lebanon.”
Echoing Prime Minister Bennett, Gantz called on the world “to take action against Iran” while emphasizing that “Israel needs to continue to do what it needs to on all fronts in general and on the northern front in particular.”