This morning, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the IDF’s Intelligence Division, together with the Director of the IDI Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, Head of the Research Division, Head of Intelligence Operations and additional senior officials.
Minister Gantz held a situation assessment regarding various challenges including Iran, the northern arena, and the Palestinian Authority and Gaza arenas. He also discussed lessons learned from Operation Breaking Dawn, and toured the unit’s headquarters.
The Minister expressed his appreciation for the unit’s work during the recent military operation, including their close cooperation with the ISA. He also expressed his appreciation for their ongoing operational activities in all arenas.
Gantz said: “I have just completed a situation assessment and a series of intelligence reviews of all the arenas. Later today, I will conduct a situation assessment focused on Palestinian affairs, in light of the recent increase in terror attacks."
"Our excellent intelligence and outstanding personnel, prevent attacks and save lives. As a result of our accurate intelligence, and the operational methods we have developed, we operate in a precise manner against terrorism, protect the citizens of Israel and reduce harm to innocent civilians.
Responding the US State Department's statement that the US would press Israel to change its rules of engagement in light of the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, Gantz said that the Israel would determine its rules of engagement without foreign interference.
“The IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, and he alone, determines, and will continue to determine the rules of engagement in accordance with our operational needs and values of the IDF. These instructions are implemented in a strict manner by soldiers and their commanders. There has not been, and there will not be any political involvement in the matter. IDF troops have my full backing in their mission to protect the citizens of Israel.
"At the same time, we demand that the Palestinian Authority not only speak out against terrorism, but also act against it. The spread of weapons and lack of governance are harming both the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority itself. I conveyed this message again today, to PA leadership. We will not allow armed men who seek to murder Israelis, to roam around freely. We will pursue and stop them. At the same time, we will continue to strengthen moderate actors, and prevent harm to the routine lives of the majority, who are not involved in terrorism,” Gantz concluded.