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Netanyahu: Security is Better than It was in Years

Prime Minister rebuffs Olmert's criticism of defense spending in cabinet meeting.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/13/2013, 2:04 PM

Netanyahu in Ariel
Netanyahu in Ariel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In Sunday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rebuffed criticism from his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who accused Netanyahu of spending NIS 11 billion on preparations for a strike on Iran that never materialized.

"Over the weekend, he said, "somebody criticized my government over the investments we made in security. Indeed, in contrast to governments that invested billions in the disengagement, we invested billions in building up our strength so as to ensure the security of Israel's citizens.

"We invested and we will continue to invest in Iron Dome, which stopped the missiles, in the security fence in the south, which stopped the infiltrators, in cyber-security and in the offensive and defensive capabilities of the IDF, Mossad and ISA.

"These capabilities have already found expression in various areas, including during Operation Pillar of Defense, which was conducted responsibly and wisely and which achieved its goals.

"It is no coincidence that the security situation in the country is the best it has been in years and this is in the face of the great security upheaval around us and in our region. I would like to commend the ministers who dealt with the issue and the government for backing the important operations to ensure the security of Israel's citizens."

Netanyahu added praise for the Israel Police and the IDF, for their operation to evacuate the Arab outpost in the area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim. "As soon as I was updated on the Palestinian gathering, I ordered its immediate evacuation and it was indeed carried out last night in the best possible manner," he said.

"Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, I would like to thank you and Israel Police Commissioner Inspector-General Yohanan Danino on the excellent operation; I am certain that to the degree that it will yet be necessary to watch over the area, you will do so as effectively as possible. We will not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim."