Daily Israel Report

Gantz: The IDF Can Reach Any Target

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz speaks on Memorial Day: We carry out our mission using those who fell as our guide.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/15/2013, 5:16 AM

President Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stand for a minute of silence
President Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stand for a minute of silence
Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said on Sunday that the IDF’s long arm can reach any place and any enemy.

Speaking at the official ceremony marking the beginning of Memorial Day for the IDF's Fallen Soldiers, Gantz said, "I think of all the mothers and fathers I knew. Of the sons and daughters who are no longer with us. In their sacrifice the boys and girls became forever ingrained in the character of the state. It is not in vain that we call them the salt of the earth. They are the essence of the tears of the Land of Israel.

"Tonight I stand before you, Chief of Staff of the IDF, in the light of the memorial flame, and promise you: If sometimes it seems as though our country, which is covered with monuments, is the 'land of their name’, then the Israel Defense Forces is the 'army in their name'. We educate, train our fighters and carry out our mission using those who fell as our guide.

"And those who should know this, know that there is no place and target that the long arms of the IDF cannot reach,” said Gantz. “And I know that when we will be required to do so, we shall always be ready and willing than ever. We will spare no sweat because we want to save blood and tears.”

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett attended on Sunday evening an event in honor of Memorial Day at the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem.

During the event, Bennett said, "In the short history of our country, our fighters often had to act outside its borders to protect it."

"Every child in Israel has grown knowing that no matter where he is, the IDF will act against anyone who endangers him, in places near or far, with no boundaries,” he added.

“Israel is our safe haven,” concluded Bennett and added, "We have acted in light of this statement and will continue to act in the future. We’ll reach any place we need to reach for this purpose.”

According to numbers published by the Defense Ministry, since the year 1860 -- when Jews founded the first neighborhood in Jerusalem outside of the Old City -- 23,085 soldiers and members of the security forces died in the line of duty, including 92 in the past year.