Netanyahu holds first meeting with IDF brass as defense minister

'We have a common mission to defend Israel's security in every arena.'

Tzvi Lev,

Netanyahu meets with the General Staff
Netanyahu meets with the General Staff
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Netanyahu convened his first meeting with the IDF's General Staff since announcing that he will replace Avigdor Liberman as defense minister.

Liberman had resigned last Wednesday over accusations that the current government was "capitulating to terror".

During his meeting with the generals at the Defense Ministry's Tel Aviv headquarters, Netanyahu told them that he expected to have a fruitful relationship with "the IDF generals who work tirelessly for the security of Israel".

"This is my first visit here at the General Staff as the prime minister and defense minister," Netanyahu said. "We have a common mission, which is to maintain Israel's security in all the arenas.

"In the first arena, Gaza, we are ready to act and do everything necessary to protect the security of the residents of the area and the south," added the prime minister.

"The second arena is Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu continued. "The IDF and the Shin Bet thwarted about 500 attacks this year. This is an opportunity to welcome the last joint action that prevented a very large terrorist attack that was directed by Hamas from Gaza."

Netanyahu was referring to an announcement that the Shin Bet internal security service had foiled an attempt by Hamas to carry out a wave of terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu said that the final threat Israel needed to deal with was " the north, Syria, and Lebanon. We continue to act to prevent Iran's military buildup in Syria and Hezbollah's precision weapons project in Lebanon".

Netanyahu had announced earlier this week that he would replace Liberman defense minister. The announcement came despite threats by Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett to leave the coalition should he not be appointed the defense minister.

“We are in the midst of a military campaign, and you don’t abandon during a campaign, you don’t play politics,” Netanyahu said. “The security of the state is above all else."