IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said in a New Year's video greeting to Israelis and Jewish people around the world that the battle against terrorism “can be won.”
Noting that this past year has been one of “unprecedented revolutions and changes throughout the Middle East,” Gantz said the changes have presented the State of Israel with new security challenges on all fronts.
“We must prepare ourselves to deal with these threats in the future,” he warned, adding that only a strong military is capable of contending with the complex challenges and threats that lie ahead.
The efforts of the IDF and by “other military forces,” made in the past year, however, “have demonstrated that this battle can be won,” he said firmly.
Citing the large scale military drills and exercises that took place across Israel this year, he said the IDF has upgraded its operational response to regional threats.
He also praised the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system deployed in three cities in southern Israel, which Gantz noted currently protects more than half a million civilians from the thousands of rockets and missiles fired by Gaza terrorists at heavily populated areas.
“Even on this festive occasion, we must [also] remember the IDF soldiers who are missing in action and are being held captive, and cannot enjoy their holiday table,” he added – a clear reference to IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in June 2006 by the terrorist rulers of Gaza and held captive since that time.
“We all join in prayer, and share the hope that during this coming year we will see their release and the IDF will continue to operate to bring them home,” he said.
Vowing to continue to protect Israel and the Jewish People worldwide, Gantz said “we will continue to stand strong against those who seek our demise... even as we pray for security and peace.”