Hours before Passover, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday toured military posts on the Gaza Strip border, and spoke with commanders and soldiers from the 101st Paratroopers Brigade and Netzach Yehuda Battalion of the Kfir Brigade, who are spending the holiday on duty.

Later, the minister met with the commander of the IDF's 162 Division, Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, and discussed with him the division's preparations for continuing the fight to dismantle Hamas' brigades in the Gaza Strip.

Defense Minister Gallant said to the paratroopers: "We are on the eve of Passover and half a year into the war, and this is your task, the task of the generation - in your generation as soldiers and ours as those who are navigating this battle, each at their own level. We trust you and rely on you because we have seen how you act - even on October 7 when the soldiers came from everywhere, including here to Kissufim, and fought and unfortunately some also fell, for your fight in Gaza and for the fight in Khan Yunis, and now in the battle of defense and in preparation for additional tasks."

"I am telling you - there will be more tasks, it might be in the south, here in this sector, and it might be in the north. Be prepared for all the activities, take advantage of the time, you have a lot of experience, much more than anyone who was in your situation in the last decades, because you fought, and you went through the path of combat, at all places, and you saw what combat is, and always remember that the next task looks different."

"Today you have the right to protect the freedom of the people of Israel in its land, that's not a simple thing. For thousands of years, Jews did not have this ability, today we have the capability to defend ourselves with our own forces - it is incumbent upon you and we rely on you."

The Defense Minister also spoke with Netzach Yehuda soldiers, who are fighting these days in the Beit Hanoun neighborhood, in the north of the Gaza Strip and told them, "The entire defense establishment, the IDF and also the State of Israel support you, appreciate you and strengthen you in your action to protect the State of Israel. The place you are in, Beit Hanoun, is where you protect the city of Sderot from an attack, a raid and of course rocket fire. The battalion entered very well into activity."

"I want to tell you something else that comes against the background of you making headlines: Errors and malfunctions happen everywhere there is military activity and they must not happen, certainly not things related to normative matters that should not be practiced, but that one soldier, or two, or soldiers did something wrong, that does not cast a shadow over the entire battalion. The battalion is a combat framework, which is doing its job at a very high level. If something happens with someone, we deal with it, no one in the world will teach us what ethics and norms are."

"We are fighting against seven armies, or seven terrorist organizations, at this time - in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria, Iraq, Yemen, and also in Iran - we are fighting against all of them and withstanding the attack, using all our forces. And we will do whatever is required to protect the citizens of this country, whatever is required. The Israel Defense Forces and the defense establishment stand behind you in performing your tasks and know that you are endangering your lives in order to protect the citizens of Israel and we will stick to our values, which are the values of a Jewish army in the spirit of everything that our tradition educates us on the one hand, and the orders and the law in the State of Israel on the other hand."

"We aspire to bring religious and haredi populations into the military system, I think there is very great potential, there are many people who want to enlist. There is a special reason why the battalion has succeeded and serves as a lighthouse to all the people who want to follow in your footsteps. And I think there are tens of thousands within the haredi population who want to serve in the IDF, and we want to mark a way, therefore there is a special importance that you succeed beyond any other battalion also in the symbol and in this way. Chag Sameach to you and your families, and may we be helped by God to have good news in this holiday and afterwards."

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