Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the naval base of the southern front in Ashdod. During the visit, he was briefed by Commander of the Navy Rear Admiral David Saar Salama, Ashdod Base Commander Captain Eitan Paz, and additional commanders on the Navy's operations in the war and on the elimination of dozens of terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Israel from the sea.
After the briefing, the Prime Minister spoke with naval combat personnel, including commandos from Shayetet 13, sailors from the 916 Patrol Squadron, naval surveillance specialists, and additional soldiers involved in the fighting.
Netanyahu heard from the sailors and commandos how they carry out their mission of protecting Israel's shores, their efforts to clear out the communities in the Gaza envelope of terrorists, and their offensive missions on the coast of Gaza, which included the elimination of terror infrastructure, terrorists, and senior Hamas commanders. Netanyahu praised them for their quick and determined work from the moment the war broke out.
The Prime Minister then sailed on a Shaldag class fast patrol craft off the coast of southern Israel with navy sailors who accompanied him with several additional crafts.
"You are warriors - lions of the sea. From the first moment of battle, some of you in your communities and most of you from here, you did work that was simply amazing - in battling and stopping their infiltrations. I received reports now, both personal from each of you, and I also saw videos of your amazing work to defend the country. You stopped them and are still stopping them. And you killed them, and you didn't let them in," Netanyahu told the sailors."
He turned to the Rear Admiral David Saar Salama and said, "Commander of the Navy, you have lions here—warriors who fought and are fitting in an amazing manner. I want to tell them - you are surrounded by a sea of love and appreciation from the citizens of Israel. You protect the citizens of Israel; you protect your home. I salute you."