Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz Participate in I
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz Participate in I Ariel Hermoni (MOD)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz today participated in the IDF "Chariots of Fire" exercise, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, along with IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the Prime Minister's Military secretary, the head of the IDF Operations Branch, the head of the IDF Intelligence Branch and additional senior officials.

The Prime Minister and the Defense Minister were briefed on combat scenarios on all fronts; a fundamental and in-depth discussion was held on the operational concept for achieving a decisive result and victory. Also discussed were three efforts: Multi-dimensional maneuvering in enemy territory, vigorous and powerful live-fire strikes, and cyber and multi-dimensional defense.

Prime Minister Bennett said: "The 'Chariots of Fire' exercise – one of the longest in IDF history – is underway. It simulates a simultaneous conflict on multiple fronts, with all that entails."

"First, I would like to thank the Defense Minister and IDF Chief-of-Staff for the very significant exercise that is underway and which will help upgrade our capabilities in preparing for the real thing. At the same time, there is extensive and reinforced IDF operational activity, as you know, and this is also challenging. This is the actual situation of the State of Israel again.

"We neither seek out nor want conflict but we are prepared for any scenario that comes. The enemy knows that if he drags us into a conflict – he will pay an unbearably heavy price.

"The Israeli public needs to know that the State of Israel is stronger than all of our enemies combined and we will always be ready for this on every point."

Defense Minister Gantz said: "Safeguarding the security of the State of Israel is tied to two anchors: The use of force and building up the force in continuous process over the years. The IDF knows how to do both. I would like to thank you, Prime Minister, for the visit, and you, the Chief-of-Staff for putting together this exercise, which is part of the ability to build up the security of the State of Israel.

"I have about 20 years' personal experience with exercises of this sort, from all angles and points-of-view, and I can determine that this exercise surpasses all of its predecessors. It is deep, prolonged, on all fronts and it is happening in command posts and in the field, and in coordination with government ministries. It is indeed very significant and I would like to express my appreciation for this as well.

"The visits by the political leadership to this exercise are important and while the political leadership needs to make the decisions, its ability to make decisions is substantially and prominently linked to understanding what is possible and what is needed. Our cooperation in this context, on this exercise, is really what makes this exercise possible. Thank-you very much to the Chief-of-Staff for the exercise; thank-you very much to the Prime Minister for the visit. The coming weeks will upgrade the level of security of the State of Israel."

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