Halutz unexpectedly visits Golan base

Visit may be related to Syrian threats; IDF says just routine inspection.

October 23, 2006 10:00
halutz looks tough 298.88

halutz looks tough 298.8. (photo credit: IDF [file])

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz made a surprise visit to the 36th Division in the Golan Heights Monday morningas part of a comprehensive inspection he will be conducting in the area over the next few days. Some 60 officers and military staff members who accompanied Halutz will be evaluating the level of readiness and fitness in the division and its units. This latest series of inspections, headed by Brig.-Gen. Eli Reiter, comes as tensions with Syria are on the rise, prompting many to speculate that Halutz's visit to the Golan, which shares a border with the Arab country, may have some connection to Syrian President Bashar Assad's on-again, off-again threats and peace overtures. The IDF denied any such connection, however, claiming that the chief of General Staff's appearance in the North was simply a routine inspection of an army division. Following the war in Lebanon, numerous investigation teams were created and have already found deficiencies in various divisions' emergency storage units, level of alertness, and professionalism.

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