IDF Chief of Staff Gantz
IDF Chief of Staff Gantz Israel news photo: Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said Monday that the IDF will have to reduce the size of its forces in the near future because of what he called “considerations of responsibility.”

"I am not happy with the budget cut,” he said, adding that while there is a large gap between what the IDF needs and what it can receive, he cannot ignore the lack of resources. The IDF will deal with this problem by choosing its priorities, he said.

Gantz noted that the character of wars has changed in recent years. “The enemy is not always visible,” he said.

Challenges facing Israel include Iran's attempts to achieve nuclear weapon abilities, and the instability in Syria and Lebanon.

Gaza, Gantz said, has been relatively quiet since Operation Pillar of Defense, and the security situation in Judea and Samaria is “stable.”

Regarding the reported attacks on hareidi soldiers, the Chief of Staff said it was “unthinkable” that hareidi soldiers should have to fear going home from their bases, because they might be attacked by extremists. He voiced hope that the phenomenon will be eradicated, noting that the soldiers protect all of Israel's citizens and need to be treated with respect.

In the most recent attack, a religious soldier was assaulted by two hareidi men in the predominantly-hareidi Beit Yisrael neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The two attackers fled after a fight ensued.