Benny Gantz
Benny GantzIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured southern Israel on Tuesday, together with Deputy Defense Minister, Alon Shuster, Head of the IDF’s Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, Head of the Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, and Head of the Gaza Division, Brig. Gen. Nimrod Aloni.

During the visit, Minister Gantz participated in a situation assessment in which the officials reviewed the recent military operation, “Guardian of the Walls”. Minister Gantz was also given an operational briefing and participated in a discussion with commanders in the Gaza division.

At the end of the visit, Minister Gantz said, "I am concluding a visit to the Gaza Division with the Head of the Planning Directorate and Head of the Southern Command, during which we discussed the implementation of our policy following operation ‘Guardian of the Walls.’ At the end of the operation, I said that the situation that was before, will be no longer – both in terms of policy and operational activity. We have demonstrated this through our firm responses to every violation of our sovereignty.”

“The State of Israel is prepared for any scenario – for long-term calm or on the flip-side, for an escalation. With the help of our Egyptian partners who play a constructive role, as well as additional international officials, we continue to work to ensure long-term peace, to provide economic assistance to Gaza residents, and to ensure the return of our boys,” he added.

“At the same time, we are accumulating hundreds of new terrorist targets in order to ensure that we are ready to protect the residents of the south and to remove any potential threats.”

“Another issue we are trying to improve is the transfer of Qatari aid. Israel greatly appreciates Qatar's contribution to stability in the area, and we are working together to create a mechanism that will ensure greater security for Israel, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority, as a moderate element and representative of the Palestinian people, and will promote the well-being of Gaza residents who suffer under the leadership of the Hamas terrorist organization. We need long-lasting quiet - the longer it lasts, the better the situation will be for citizens on both sides,” concluded Gantz.