IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Monday reassured Israelis who
were planning on visiting the Golan Heights that it was safe, and even
recommended to visit the northern region during the Passover
“We’re here to live,” Gantz said during an Army Radio
interview. “The Israeli people need to be strong and calm, and visit the Golan
Heights. Clearly, we must and can visit the Golan. I even recommend it highly –
it’s quiet, safe and beautiful, and no less important, we must not disrupt the
routine of our lives because of one incident or another,” the military chief
Gantz made the comments a day after the IDF came under fire from
the Syrian army, near the border, prompting it to fire a Tamuz guided
surface-to-surface missile at a Syrian army post in response.
struck its target, reportedly wounding two Syrian soldiers at a machine-gun
nest. On Saturday night, an IDF jeep sustained light damage from Syrian
Gantz acknowledged that the situation on the Golan Heights was
more sensitive than in other areas, noting that there “are more incidents on the
other [Syrian] side. Assad, to our sorrow, is massacring his people, those who
are fighting him.
Occasionally, there is an incident, and we deal with
it, and contain it on the military level. I don’t expect an escalation now,
certainly not an impending one, but in the distant future, who can tell what
Addressing Sunday’s exchange of fire with Syrian forces, Gantz
said the bullets directed at IDF soldiers endangered their lives, forcing a
precise counterstrike that eliminated the source of the danger.
continue to operate on the Golan Heights to ensure quiet, in an intelligent and
Wherever action is required, it will occur. The IDF is
prepared for all possibilities in this area,” he added.
repeated his support for the detente with Turkey, saying it was a “very, very
big country with very, very significant regional influence. I understand the
complexity of the decision... but as I’ve said before, we need to look ahead and
serve the interests of the State of Israel.”