GantzIDF spokesman

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, speaking this morning at a memorial ceremony at Mt. Herzl for IDF soldiers who lost their lives in the line of service during the Second Lebanon War of 2006, discussed the importance of ground troops to the IDF. “In future campaigns, or, God forbid, in war, if we need to get into enemy territory, ground troops, both in regular and reserve duty, will constitute a central component of the fighting," he said. "We will use them if it becomes necessary…"

"Our hope, of course," continued Gantz, "is for peace and calm, but we are prepared to engage our full capacity if it becomes necessary in any theatre, including Lebanon. We are aware of the attempts at breaching the calm on our borders, and we are keeping watch, maintaining the routine, while remaining prepared for broader crisis response."

Gantz further addressed President Rivlin, attending his final memorial ceremony as President of Israel, saying: “Time after time, you have shown up at these ceremonies to support bereaved families. You have been there for the wounded, people whose physical and mental health have been damaged, many of them in the Second Lebanon War. We embrace them here today and remain committed to [assisting] them. You opened your home to Israelis from all parts of the social spectrum, and within that, offered a home for our beloved grieving families as well. On my own behalf, on behalf of bereaved families as well as the IDF and defense establishment’s wounded veterans, I thank you.”