Yoav Gallant
Yoav GallantTomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant participated on Wednesday evening in the graduation ceremony of the National Security College and commented on the importance of a deal for the release of the hostages.

"Even in these hours, when IDF soldiers are working to eradicate the Hamas organization, we have the duty to return the hostages to their homes. This is a supreme moral imperative - and this is a declared objective of the war. The determined action of the defense establishment created the conditions for the return of the hostages," Gallant said.

He added, "We have a limited window of opportunity to fulfill our moral and ethical duty - to return the hostages. The conditions that will be created as a result of the deal - will advance our national and security interests, while the IDF and the security forces will know how to overcome the risks that may arise. Alongside the operation to defeat Hamas, it is appropriate, right and necessary to make a deal for the return of the hostages."

Gallant continued, "On October 7, male soldiers, female soldiers and civilians all realized that the fate of the country rests on their shoulders, they fought until their last breath to protect us, the citizens of the State of Israel. 76 years after the generation of the founders, the generation of my parents, and the grandparents of many of you, fought to establish The state, we are fighting today to ensure Israel's eternal existence, security and prosperity."

"From my familiarity with the forces inherent in our nation, from knowing the moral and military strength of the IDF, and from full faith in the IDF commanders, the Chief of Staff, the senior command staff of which you are part, and the soldiers operating in the field, I am convinced from the bottom of my heart: We will be victorious in this war as well - we will march the State of Israel to better days - days of security, unity and well-being," the Defense Minister noted.

Gallant also commented on the criticism that has been directed at the IDF over the war, saying, "Many of those who criticize the commanders and the soldiers sit in the back, judge, and criticize. And I turn to them and say: When you talk about commanders and soldiers of the IDF, treat them with respect and appreciation."

"Applaud them and appreciate their heroism. Express the criticism arising from complex events, as well as from operational failures, in a responsible and dignified manner, and with the understanding that we do not have another country, and we do not have another army," he concluded.