IDF soldiers at the scene of a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion, December 1, 2013..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The security reality in the Gush Etzion sector is “continuously changing,” Col. Roman Gofman, the newly appoint ed commander of the IDF’s Gush Etzion territorial brigade, warned on Sunday, during the takeover ceremony. Gofman replaced Col. Amit Yamin.
“The threats and dangers are changing shape and direction,” Gofman said, and threats are “adapting and rising up again for continued conflict. our mission is clear: defending Gush Etzion and its residents, defending Jerusalem, preventing terrorism from reaching the home front, and safeguarding law and order and the fabric of life.”
Brig.-Gen. Lior Carmeli, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, recalled that in June of 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas members in the area, leading the IDF to launch Operation Brother’s Keeper across the West Bank.
These events underlined “the dangers in this sector, and the importance of firmly upholding the mission of defense, which the brigade and the entire division are responsible for,” he said. In his parting remarks, Yamin said that on the route between Jerusalem and Hebron, “where the Etzion sector resides, pieces of significant history are tucked into the clods of earth of this place, alongside breakthrough settlements that bravely renewed it at the time when the nation was reborn.”
Yamin said his term as commander was defined by choosing “the right points of balance, within an ongoing security evaluation. I hope and believe that we made the right decisions.”
On August 17, the IDF held a ceremony to mark the start of a new command for the Menashe territorial brigade at Mount Shaul in Gilboa. Col. Hezi Nehma replaced Col. Oren Zini as commander of the division. During the ceremony, Judea and Samaria Division commander Brig.-Gen. Carmeli praised the professional responses of soldiers to a spate of lone terrorist knifings and vehicular attacks on security forces