IDF Chief of the Staff. Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz addressed the situation in Syria during a speech at the annual memorial ceremony for fallen Navy soldiers Thursday evening.
Gantz said that while Israel may face tough times, the Israeli public should continue with its normal routine.
“Israel is about to face challenging times. We have no part in the events unfolding around us but in the event that the fire turns toward Israel, it is clear to every leader in the region and in the world that a heavy price will be paid and the loss to our enemies will be scathing,” Gantz said, according to the IDF’s website.
“We have analyzed all the possible meanings of every possible development and as part of our required duty, we are preparing for every scenario," he stressed.
Lt. Gen. Gantz emphasized that “the IDF's intelligence capabilities, our advanced strike capabilities and all our defense systems -- on air, sea and land -- are ready and able, operated by the best of our soldiers and commanders, in regular service and reserves. I hope we will not have to put them into action."
He noted that “the Home Front Command will continue to serve every citizen and will constantly be in communication with the Israeli populace with regard to any change in the situation. Israeli civilians can continue to proceed as normal with their daily routine, knowing that the IDF is here to protect you, determined, strong, and ready as ever. Even though a storm is raging around us, IDF fighters and their commanders are the anchors of stability on which we can rely even in the most violent storms."
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also urged Israeli citizens to go about their daily routines.
“Despite the low assessment regarding Israel's involvement in what is going on in Syria, we decided to deploy Iron Dome batteries as well as our other intercept systems,” said Netanyahu.
“We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone one tries to harm Israel's citizens, the IDF will respond very strongly,” he stressed.
Over the past two days, large numbers of Israeli citizens have been standing in line to obtain gas masks after the media warned that a U.S. attack on Syrian targets was imminent, and as Bashar Al-Assad's regime warned that it would respond to such an attack by targeting Israel.
The IDF expressed satisfaction at the fact that so many citizens are finally getting masks, but was also concerned that the national stockpile of gas masks will soon be depleted.
Tzviki Tessler, deputy commander of the Home Front Command, said on Thursday that the Home Front Command was “prepared to address different scenarios” and added that Home Front Command was working to ensure that every Israeli receives a sufficient warning in the event of a retaliation against Israel by Syria.