Gantz: Iran knows us, and not just from my phone

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz addresses rocket attack at day 2 of AIPAC conference.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gantz at AIPAC
Gantz at AIPAC

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz addressed the annual conference of the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby in Washington DC on Monday morning.

The former IDF Chief of Staff addressed the rocket attack on central Israel overnight.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families whose homes were attacked by a rocket this morning in Israel. The strong resilient people of our nation were attacked yet again, forced to live with constant reminders of our enemies' hate and unwillingness for change," Gantz said.

"This hate, fueling a century old conflict, may be the only thing our enemies have, because this hate, this misery, is all they live for. Our people live for hope! We live for the promise of a better future which we constantly build," he said.

"Those who seek life are always stronger than those seeking death, and I tell you, the leaders of Hamas, you will not change that!" he declared.

Gantz praised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for choosing to return to Israel following the rocket attack rather than address AIPAC himself later today.

"I will return to Israel today as well to stand, and if needed, to fight in defense of our people. One thing I know for sure. Israel will once again and always prevail.

"I am a soldier. That is who I am. That is what I do," he said, describing his military career and the many battles he fought in.

"If we want hope, if we want security, we must have unity," he said. "Unity is our past, and unity must be our future!"

Addressing the Iranian threat, Gantz said: "I say from this stage to the Iranian regime: Never again. We will not allow you to establish yourselves in Syria. We will not allow you to develop a nuclear weapon.

"You know me well - and not because of my cellphone...On my watch Iran will not become a regional power. And I will not hesitate to use force when needed.

"I know that the children of Teheran, and the children of Jerusalem, are born free of hate. I know that the Iranian people are waiting for a new dawn - one I hope, we will all get to see in our lifetime.

"Therefore, I am telling you, Let Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda and ISIS know -We’ve met before on the battlefield. You know the result.

"Therefore I am telling you that the reality in the south... as we unfortunately saw today...where Israeli children spend their nights in bomb shelters, while the heads of Hamas celebrate must end now – and it will!

"The heads of Hamas had forgotten what happened to Ahmed Jabari - their chief of staff. They will get a personal reminder if they continue targeting our population, as will all terrorists.

"We will maintain our military edge; We will firmly keep our security advantage - by air; by land; by sea, and even under the sea;

"To those that would like to turn a new page: We will extend our hand in peace and we will strive for peace with any honest and willing Arab leader.

With every future agreement we will not compromise on this: Jerusalem is, and will always be, Israel’s united and eternal capital. The Jordan Valley is, and always will remain, Israel’s eastern security border.

The responsibility for security over the entire Land of Israel will remain in the hands of the IDF, and the IDF alone.

"Not like other countries -- We will never ask anyone to fight for us.

"We will never withdraw from the Golan Heights. Never."