Israel’s core threats: Gaza, West Bank and Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a meeting of the IDF General Staff as Jerusalem’s top defense official for the first time, during which he emphasized his resolve “to guard the security of Israel in all arenas.” Netanyahu listed three major fronts, which are the core challenges Israel deals with, including: the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel’s northern frontier, where it is also tackling the Iranian threat. In his words, “This is my first visit here to the General Staff as Prime Minister and Defense Minister. We have a common mission – to guard the security of Israel in all arenas. In the first arena, Gaza, we are ready to act and do everything that needs to be done to maintain the security of the residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and the south. The second arena is Judea and Samaria. This year, the IDF and the ISA have foiled around 500 terrorist attacks. This is the opportunity to commend the recent joint action that prevented a very large attack which was directed by Hamas in Gaza. The third arena is the north, Syria and Lebanon. We are continuing to take action to thwart the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria, and Hezbollah’s precision weapons project in Lebanon. Present here are the Chief-of-Staff and the IDF generals who work tirelessly for the security of Israel – this is our mission and we will continue it.” During the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the recommendation of the incoming IDF chief of staff, Major General Aviv Kochavi – who will assume the position on the first of January 2019 – and approved the appointment of Major General Eyal Zamir as the Israeli military’s next deputy chief of staff.