Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed to “continue to lead responsible security policy,” saying that he “will not allow any political considerations to make their way in” to obstructing any actions necessary to protect the state.
Gantz, who is the leader of the Blue and White party, is expected to remain on as Defense Minister as part of the emerging coalition government set to be sworn in at the Knesset on 13 June.
After touring the IDF Southern Command with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi yesterday, Gantz was given a broad intelligence briefing about the recent Guardian of the Walls campaign. Consultations concerning evolving policy vis-à-vis Gaza were also conducted with senior leaders who were present, including the Military Intelligence Directorate, Mossad, Shin Bet and other agencies.
“We reached achievements during Operation Guardian of the Walls that were unprecedented in terms of their scope, precision, and efficacy in protecting our homefront,” Lt. Gen. (res) Gantz said, according to a statement TV7 obtained from the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Adding that, “Alongside the operative achievements, we are just getting started [in affecting] political achievements, both in terms of the way military force is used and in terms of policy change and diplomatic achievements,” he also disclosed that, “The IDF has a new target list and new operational methods that will shift the weight of fighting into Gaza-proper.”
“We won’t spare any effort in our attempt to foster stability, empower moderate forces, and get regional players on board to strengthen the Palestinian Authority,” he further asserted, underscoring Israel’s ongoing efforts to “bring our boys home.”
Hamas seized the bodies of IDF soldiers, Sergeant First Class Oron Shaul and Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin after they were killed in action during the 2014 Gaza war, and has been holding the remains as “bargaining chips” since that time. The Islamist terror group has also been holding captive Israeli civilians Avraham “Avera” Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, both of whom reportedly suffer mental impairment, since they crossed into Gaza in separate incidents of their own accord in 2014-2015.