IDF soldiers coruch at Lebanon border during fire exchange
IDF soldiers coruch at Lebanon border during fire exchangeFlash 90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met Wednesday with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and with representatives of the committee headed by Lt. Col. (Res.) Shaul Mofaz, which was established last July and examined the possibility of awarding service ribbons to IDF soldiers who served in Lebanon.

Ganz accepted the recommendation of Chief of Staff Kohavi and the committee to award ribbons to combat soldiers who served in Lebanon from September 30, 1982, the date of the end of the First Lebanon War until May 24, 2000, the date of the IDF's withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon.

The committee presented to Minister Gantz its recommendations to recognize this period as a campaign to be called "the campaign in the security zone in Lebanon."

The committee proposed granting a service ribbon to anyone who took part in the fighting or in support of the combat forces, according to principles and criteria to be determined by the IDF before the next Memorial. These recommendations, after they are approved by Minister Gantz, will be submitted for approval to the Ministerial Committee on Ceremonies and Symbols. In addition, the defense minister instructed that a response be promoted so that members of the South Lebanon Army and civilian IDF employees who took part in the fighting could also receive the ribbon.

Defense Minister Gantz told members of the committee, "As someone who served 22 years in Lebanon, and was the last to leave the security strip, I feel today as the Minister of Defense of the State of Israel a great privilege and moral obligation to the thousands of fighters who served under me, to approve the award."

Gantz told Mofaz, who was the chief of staff who gave him the order to leave Lebanon: "We lost a lot of friends, we left a lot of memories and stories of heroism behind us. There is no proper way for us to acknowledge an entire generation that fought in Lebanon."