PM Netanyahu with new pilots
PM Netanyahu with new pilots Haim Zach, GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night attended a military event at the Hatzerim Air Force Base.

In addition to Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin also attended the event.

"We will continue to respond forcefully to Iran's plans to turn Syria into a base for firing deadly rockets at us," Netanyahu said. "The mass demonstrations teach us that our efforts to put Iran in its place are bearing fruit."

"Today, the Air Force is stronger than ever, and we equip it with the best weapons and technology, and above all else, with the best people in Israel.

"We blew up Iran's cash machine. The ones who provided the most cash to Iran were stopped short, and the Iranian people are feeling it in their pockets. The IDF, and the Air Force, will continue to act with force against Iranian targets in the area.

"Whoever drags us into a conflict will regret it sorely. Here, too, the Air Force plays a crucial role."

Praising the Air Force, Liberman noted the current push to reconquer Gaza.

"When I stand opposite you, I see in front of me the squadron commanders of the coming decade," Liberman said. "I see before me the best defense force in the world, in the strongest army in the Middle East...prepared for any event."

"As Israelis, we are impatient. We want everything immediately, right now: A war now, victory now. But a serious and responsible defense policy cannot give in to media or public pressure. The State of Israel is dealing with many challenges and threats, in both the north and south.

"The welfare and security of the residents of Israel's north and south, like that of all other Israeli citizens, is at the top of our priority list. Trust that we are acting responsibly and reasonably, in accordance with Israeli interests. We have no intention of being dragged. We intend to lead. We will do what is necessary, the way it is necessary, when it is necessary."