Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Ramon Air Force Base on Sunday and met with aircrew, combat personnel, and groundcrew personnel. At the start of the visit, the Prime Minister was briefed by the base commander, Col. G, on the activities of the squadron and the combat helicopters during the fighting in the Gaza Strip, including air attacks and providing close support to ground forces currently active in the Strip. The base commander emphasized the cooperation and close links between air units and the ground forces.
Prime Minister Netanyahu then met and spoke with aircrews that had participated in the fighting and was briefed on the use of F-16I fighter jets. He also spoke with technical crews at the base who are responsible for maintaining and arming the aircraft.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the service men and women: "I thank you. Our enemies misjudged us. They thought that on the crucial day, we would not report. We reported together, and now we are fighting shoulder-to-shoulder."
The Prime Minister emphasized: "I also want you to know that there is one thing we will not do: There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages. This should be completely removed from the lexicon. We say this to our friends and to our enemies. We will simply continue until we defeat them. We have no alternative. I think that we all understand this today."
"The entire nation is united and relies on you, appreciates what you are doing, and believes in you. We will continue together until victory," Netanyahu concluded.
The Director of the National Security Council, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, and the Prime Minister's Military Secretary also participated in the visit.