Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday paid a visit to Gush Etzion, where he was hosted by Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi at his Sukkah of Peace, along with Minister of Culture and Sports Hili Tropper, Gantz’s assistant on settlements affairs Avi Elimelech, and the Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division of the IDF, Brigadier General Avi Bluth.

Later, the Minister of Defense visited the Beitar crossing where he met with the commanders and fighters and thanked them for their actions for the security of the citizens of Israel and wished them a happy holiday.

At the conclusion of the visit, he said, "I concluded a visit and tour of Gush Etzion that began with the Sukkah of Peace in Efrat, a welcome initiative by the head of the council, Oded Revivi, which symbolizes our Judaism that is based on neighborliness and dialogue, and on a good relationship with the security forces. Our duty is to enable security and eradicate threats."

"We are committed to this. After that I visited the forces who are on guard at the Beitar crossing. We will continue our activity against terrorism and expand it as much as necessary and by all means - offensive, defensive, political and civil."

"On the eve of the holiday, I would like to express my appreciation on your behalf to the commanders, the soldiers, the policemen who are on guard. We stand behind you and give you the full backing to act and neutralize any threat. The entire nation of Israel is behind you," Gantz concluded.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)