The Israel Defense Prize was awarded today to a series of projects and activities that contributed to the security of the country and to maintaining its strength and qualitative advantage on the battlefield, both in terms of technology and operational aspects.
The award was presented at a festive ceremony held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi, and Defense Ministry Director General (res.) Udi Adam.
Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to one of the operations that won the prize: bringing Iran's secret nuclear archive to Israel by the Mossad.
"I approved this action with the thought that the exposure of the plan will help persuade the President of the United States to abandon the dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran," Netanyahu said.
The Prime Minister added, "I want to tell you something I haven't told of to this day: I shared with the US President the idea of the operation even before it was carried out. When I met him in Davos, I told him I was going to send our men into the heart of Tehran to bring the archive. He asked me if it was dangerous. I told him that there was considerable risk in this, but that the result justifies the risk. So when I brought the main findings we uncovered in the archive to the Oval Office at the White House, he already knew what was going on. He expressed his appreciation for the daring and achievement. I have no doubt that this helped to confirm his decision to withdraw from this dangerous agreement."
Netanyahu continued: "Yesterday, Iran announced that it had crossed the threshold of 300 kg of enriched uranium. This is another defiant step in its quest to produce nuclear weapons. Israel will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons. Those who threaten us with annihilation there put themselves in danger of extinction and the leadership that thinks in such terms, in similar danger.
"We always defend ourselves by ourselves, but these forces of ours are really the forces, the brains and the hearts that are presented here, and you, the winners of the Israel Defense Prize, have a basic share in strengthening the deterrent force. You all did a great job. Blessings and continued success in your activity to ensure the eternity of the nation," Netanyahu concluded.