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´Israelis will need the same strength as in 1948,´ says IDF chief (ISRAEL HAYOM) Lilach Shoval 05/18/12)Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=4383 Israel Hayom Israel Hayom Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz says Israel is facing a more complicated situation due to growing enemy attempts to infiltrate Israel on multiple fronts • "When we were attacked on all fronts upon the establishment of the state, the entire country became a united front. We will need that sort of strength again in the future."

The challenges Israel faces in the Middle East due to the region´s instability are growing, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Thursday.

Speaking at an event honoring the general staff´s choices for outstanding reserve soldiers and officers of 2012, Gantz said that Israel´s enemies are attempting to breach the country´s sovereignty.

Gantz praised reserve troops and said they are "critical for the reinforcement of regular IDF conscripts."

According to Gantz, Israel´s enemies, both near and distant, are increasing their attempts to breach the country´s borders and attack Israeli citizens. There is now a multi-theater threat to the country, one that is far more complex than threats faced in the past, Gantz added.

Army Radio quoted Gantz as saying, "When we were attacked on all fronts upon the establishment of the state, the entire country became a united front. We will need that sort of strength again in the future." On May 15, 1948, the day the British Mandate over Palestine ended, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq invaded the newly established State of Israel, setting off the War of Independence.

During Thursday´s event, Gantz distributed 40 certificates of excellence to reserve soldiers and officers for their outstanding contributions over the past year. Among those who received the awards were reservists who continued serving even after they reached the age of retirement, as well as those who served more than the usual amount of days per year.

Gantz addressed the audience only several hours after Israeli troops patrolling the security fence along the northern Gaza border on Thursday opened fire on Palestinians suspected of trying to plant roadside bombs.

According to Army Radio, the soldiers missed their targets, who then disappeared into a crowd in Gaza.

A while later, according to reports, the two returned once again to place the explosives along the fence and soldiers once again opened fire. Palestinian sources reported several people wounded by the gunfire, but the IDF did not confirm or deny those reports.

After the incident, an IDF spokesman told French news agency AFP, "A short while ago, Israeli soldiers identified several terrorists approaching the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip, in an area that is used by terror organizations to plant explosive devices. The soldiers fired toward the terrorists [and] the suspects distanced themselves from the fence." (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 05/18/12)


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