IDF Chief: If Attacked, Israel will Respond with Force

“When the righteous become great the people rejoice, But when the wicked dominate the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2

The Israel Defense Forces had successfully dealt with many security challenges over the past year, “in both nearby and far-off arenas,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Monday, but the “challenges are not over.”

Speaking at a memorial ceremony for the soldiers who fell in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Kochavi said, “Last summer was full of security incidents, both above and below the surface, in both nearby and far-off arenas.”

In the Gaza Strip, he said, “rocket fire was avoided and neutralized, and infiltration attempts were thwarted time and again.” In Judea and Samaria, he said, “the intelligence and operational effort that prevented many, if not all, terrorist attacks continues.”

Regarding the threat in the north, Kochavi said that “action has been taken to curb the efforts of Iran and Hezbollah,” adding that “the challenges are not over.”

The IDF, said Kochavi, is a “strong, offensive and responsible army” that “operates in many arenas.”

“We will not allow harm [to be inflicted on] the State of Israel,” he said, but “should that happen, we will respond forcefully. The IDF is a strong, offensive and responsible army, which operates in many arenas, in all dimensions, and in effect fulfills its mission as Israel’s defense forces.”

The military, said Kochavi, is well aware that it must prepare not only for present threats, but also those of the future.

“We know we must be prepared … for the challenges of the present and the future, in [terms of] the scope of the forces, the type of units, and the methods of warfare.”

The IDF keeps its “eyes open” said Kochavi, and makes “responsible” decisions while “maintaining balance.”

“The State of Israel has faced security challenges in the past and we continue to face them today. We could meet them in the past, and we can meet them today. We have our eyes open, we make daily assessments, and we make professional and responsible decisions that lead to attacks and the prevention of threats, all while maintaining balance,” he said.

As a result, he concluded, “Israel’s citizens can continue with their daily routines, in the thriving and special country established here.”

This article first appeared at Israel Hayom.